A Dhaka speedy tribunal on Tuesday completed recording depositions of prosecution witness testimonies in two cases filed over the August 21, 2004 grenade attack. The deadly attack was carried out on an Awami League rally at Bangabandhu Avenue in Dhaka.
Judge Shahed Nur Uddin of Dhaka Speedy Trial Tribunal-1 fixed June 12, 13 and 14 for the defence to present its case after the depositions and cross-examination of the prosecution witnesses were completed.
The court completed the depositions after recording the cross-examination of Special Superintendent of Police of the Criminal Investigation Department Abdul Kahar Akhand, also the investigation officer of the case.
A total of 225 out of 491 prosecution witnesses testified before the tribunal in the two cases.
Special Public Prosecutor of the tribunal Abdullah Abu Bhuiyan told the Dhaka Tribune: “The accused will be questioned by the judge on the next date, pertaining to the prosecution witness depositions under Section 342 of the CrPC [Code of Criminal Procedure].”
“If the accused do not offer any defence witnesses, then the argument hearing will begin from both the defence and the prosecution,” he said.
“After its completion, the court will fix a date to deliver its judgment in the case,” he added.
Also Read- Former home minister testifies in August 21 grenade attack case
The makeshift court, set up at a building near the gate of Dhaka Central Jail, is holding the trial in the cases — one for murder and the other under the Explosive Substances Act — simultaneously.
The grenade attack on the Awami League rally left 24 people, including Ivy Rahman, wife of late President Zillur Rahman, dead and more than 300 others injured.
The incumbent prime minister and then opposition leader Sheikh Hasina survived the attack with serious hearing impairment.
Eight of the 52 accused are now on bail while 25 others, including former state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar, are behind bars.
BNP Senior Vice-Chairman Tarique Rahman and 17 other accused have been absconding while another accused, Jamaat-e-Islami leader Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid, was executed in a war crime case.