POST TIME: 22 August, 2019 00:00 00 AM
Appeal hearing ‘starts this year’

Appeal hearing 
‘starts this year’

Law minister Anisul Huq yesterday said that the hearing on death references relating to the August 21 grenade attack case would start within the next two to four months. “Currently the Supreme Court is busy with preparing the paper book of the case. The paper book will be finalised very soon and the hearing on the appeal will also start by two to four months,” the law minister said while talking to reporters at the secretariat.

Explaining the reason of taking time to prepare the paper book of the case, the law minister said that the lower court recorded a total of 225 witnesses’ statements during the trial proceedings. Hence, a large volume of paper books has to be prepared and it is taking time to complete the whole procedure, he added.

“We hope the appeal hearing will start within this year soon after the paper books are ready,” the law minister said.

In response to a query, the law minister said that a process of bringing back fugitive convicts has started. Although there are legal complexities in bringing back fugitive convicts in the case, it is possible to bring back the convicts to implement the verdict in the case.  

“It is our duty to complete the trial proceedings of the case in accordance with the law. We will complete the trial proceedings of the case as per the law,” Huq noted.

However, the law minister declined to make comments when asked about the government’s plan to bring back BNP leader Tarique Rahman. On this day in 2004, a grenade attack was carried out on an Awami League rally at Bangabandhu

Avenue. The BNP-Jamaat alliance was in power at that time. Sheikh Hasina, the then leader of the opposition, was apparently the target of the attack.

At least 24 people, including Ivy Rahman— Awami League women affairs secretary and late president Zillur Rahman’s wife—were killed in the attack. Three hundred others were also injured. Sheikh Hasina escaped the attack unhurt but her hearing capacity was affected badly.

A Dhaka court on October 10, last year, sentenced 19 people, including former state minister for home affairs Lutfozzaman Babar, to death, while Tarique Rahman, the eldest son of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia, and 18 others were sentenced to life in prison.