The court has fixed November 4 to review the charges once again
In a surprising turn of events, the verdict in the murder case of blogger Oyasiqur Rahman Babu has been postponed after the prosecution appealed for more time to re-frame the charges against the accused.
Dhaka Third Additional Sessions Judge Rabiul Islam fixed November 4 to review the allegations against the accused as the prosecution appealed for more time due to errors in the formulation of the charges on Tuesday.
Additional Public Prosecutor (APP) Md Salauddin Hawlader confirmed the matter to Dhaka Tribune upon submitting two petitions before the court – one for withdrawal of the judgment and another one for re-indictment of the accused.
The prosecution sought to have the case amended under Section 227 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and the accused re-charged under Section 120 (b) of the Penal Code.
Section 227 of the CrPC allows a court to bring about changes to charges at any stage before the verdict, while Section 120 (b) of the Penal Code deals with criminal conspiracy.
In the appeal seeking a re-indictment in the case, the state counsel said one of the accused in the case, Saiful Islam, had been in jail over sabotage when the blogger was murdered.
“So, he was not directly linked to the murder. He worked as a mastermind of the murder, from jail. He had even made his confessional statement under Section 164 of the CrPC,” the APP argued.
But in the charges framed against Saiful, this matter was not mentioned, Salahuddin said: “He was rather indicted under Section 120 (b) of the Penal Code, which was a serious mistake in the trial of the case.”
On Monday, Public Prosecutor Abdullah Abu said he expected the death penalty for the five accused in the case. The defendants’ lawyer Faruk Ahmed demanded a fair trial.
On October 4, the same court fixed Monday (October 27) for delivering its verdict against the five militants accused in the case filed over the murder of blogger Oyasiqur.
Three of the five accused – Zikrullah alias Hasan, Md Ariful Islam alias Arif alias Mushfiq and Md Saiful Islam alias Mansur, who are now in jail, appeared before the court during the hearings of the case.
The two other accused – Abdullah alias Md Akram Hossain Hasib alias Boro Bhai, and Mowlana Junayed Ahamed alias Junayed alias Taher – have been absconding since the incident. Charges were framed against them in their absence.
On March 30, 2015, Oyasiqur Rahman Babu was brutally hacked to death by three cleaver-wielding youths on his way to work in the capital’s Tejgaon Industrial area in broad daylight.
On September 2, 2015, DB Inspector Moshiur Rahman, the investigation officer (IO) of the case, submitted the charge sheet against the five accused to the Dhaka CMM court in the case.
On July 20, 2016, the court framed charges against five members of the banned militant outfit Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT).