The Special Judge's Court in Rangpur will hold the trial of Japanese citizen Hoshi Kunio murder case, a Muslim convert killed by JMB militants in October last year.
The sensational case was shifted from the District and Sessions Judge's Court of Humayun Kabir to the special court yesterday, nearly two months after the charges pressed against eight JMB members were accepted.
The special court would start recording testimony of witnesses soon after indictment of the accused, additional public prosecutor Tofi Ahmed said, adding that the trial would be completed quickly.
Charges accepted against eight in Hoshi Kunio killing case
Four of the accused – all members of banned militant outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) – were brought to the court under tight security. They are JMB regional commander Masud Rana, military commander Eshak Ali, Liton Mia and Abu Sayeed.
Nazrul Islam alias Bike Hassan, one of the four other accused, was killed in a gunfight with the police on August 2.
The three absconders are Saddam Hossain alias Rahul alias Sabuj alias Chhobi, Rokeya University student Ahsan Ullah Ansari Biplob and Shakhawat alias Shafique. A court earlier ordered confiscation of their property as they failed to appear before it.
Middle East-based terrorist group Islamic State claimed responsibility for the murder, only hours after militants shot dead 65-year-old Kunio, who ran a grass farm, in broad daylight near his house in Kachu Alutari area at Kaunia on October 3 last year.
Lessors were unaware of Hoshi’s ownership in farm
Investigators first blamed members of the BNP and its front organisation for the murder. On July 2, they pressed the charges and prayed to court to drop their names after Masud Rana confessed that he himself had shot Kunio, who was on a rickshaw. Another accused Eshak also gave confessional statement.
Even though the investigation officer identified the accused as JMB members, officials of DMP's counter-terrorism unit claimed that they were members of a new faction of JMB having links to the Islamic State group.
Local mosque’s muezzin Taijul Islam said that Kunio had taken the name Golam Kibria upon converting to Islam.
Rokeya University yet to cancel studentship of Kunio Hoshi killing mastermind
Hoshi first visited Bangladesh in 2011 for a week. He visited again for a week in 2013 before finally deciding to live in the country this year.
Since foreign citizens cannot remain in Bangladesh for more than three months at a stretch without a work permit, he left and re-entered the country to renew his visa status, visiting China and, most recently, India, according to a police source.