The long-drawn-out trial in the August 21 grenade attack cases is likely to end today as the prosecution concluded its part of arguments on Monday.
Judge Shahed Nuruddin of Dhaka Speedy Trial Tribunal-1 on Wednesday set September 17 and 18 for hearing the closing arguments.The court asked the prosecution and defence counsels to complete their closing arguments on legal points within the two days.
Chief prosecutor Syed Rezaur Rahman concluded arguments for the state on Monday while defence counsel Mainuddin and SM Shahjahan placed arguments on legal points and “The conspiracy over the attack was hatched in 10 places, including Tarique Rahman’s Hawa Bhaban. A total of 15 grenades were used for the attack, of which four were recovered unexploded. But the authorities without bothering to take the court permission destroyed the important evidence,” Rezaur said in his arguments before the court.
The senior jurist pleaded to send eight bailed-out accused in the cases to jail after scrapping their bail as the verdict in the cases is imminent.
The prosecution lawyers said it is expected that the defence will conclude their part of arguments on Tuesday, then the Dhaka 1st Speedy Trial Tribunal, which is holding the two cases — one for murder and another lodged under Explosive Substance Act — is expected to set the date to pronounce the verdict.
Earlier, a total of 225 prosecution witnesses testified before the court on different dates in the cases.
A total of 24 Awami League leaders and workers, including the then Mohila Awami League President and wife of late President Zillur Rahman, Ivy Rahman, were killed and 500 others injured in the grenade attack that took place on August 21, 2004.The total number of the accused in the cases is 52. Of them, three, including Mufti Hannan, have been executed in other cases and their names have been dropped. Of the 49 accused, 18, including BNP leader Tarique Rahman, are yet to be arrested and being tried in absentia.
Twenty-three of the accused, including former state minister Lutfuzzaman Babar and deputy minister Abdus Salam, are now in jail while eight others are on bail.