Friday, May 24, 2024

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বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

Reazul Milky murder: Even lawyers uncertain about completion of trial

  • Trial began in November 2018
  • Only 5 out of 75 testified so far
Update : 17 Mar 2024, 09:50 PM

Non-appearance of prosecution witnesses is delaying the trial into the sensational murder of Jubo League leader Riazul Haque Khan Milky in Dhaka’s Gulshan area on July 29, 2013.

Even the government’s intervention two years ago has failed to speed up the trial process. Eleven years after the murder, the prosecution and defence lawyers are now putting the blame on witnesses for the delay in the trial since only five out of the 75 witnesses have testified in court since 2018.

On the other hand, four of the accused are on the run, and the rest are currently on bail.

The day after the murder, Milky's younger brother, Major Rashedul Haque Khan Milky, filed the murder case with the Gulshan police station, accusing 11 people, including the victim’s former associate, Zahid Siddiki Tarek.

The police, after inspecting closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage, said that Tarek was accompanied by some hired men to execute the murder due to disputes over politics and extortion.

Tarek was found dead in Khilkhet on July 31 of the same year. The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) said he was killed during a gunfight between the elite force members and unidentified gunmen.

Then it took the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) more than two years to submit the charge sheet, but the plaintiff filed a no-confidence petition against it. After six more months, the police submitted the supplementary charge sheet against 18 people, adding seven more names and mentioning 75 as witnesses.

After that, the court took around five years to indict the accused and commence the trial. However, due to some legal complexities, the hearing progressed very slowly. 

On March 21, 2022, the Law Ministry ordered the transfer of the case to Dhaka Speedy Trial Tribunal-2 of Judge Jasmin Ara Begum for quick disposal. Since then, the tribunal has recorded the testimony of the fifth witness and fixed May 29 for the next hearing.

Asked about the case status, tribunal prosecutor Sadia Afrin Shilpi said the witnesses do not appear before the court on the fixed dates. 

“Still, we are trying to present the witnesses to the court whenever a date is fixed. The court has issued non-bailable arrest warrants, but the police could not find the witnesses. As a result, the hearing of the witnesses is delayed. If witnesses appear in court, then the trial will end quicker and the victim's family will get justice,” she added.

On the other hand, the defence lawyers said the case got hung up because the witnesses did not appear properly. They hoped that the trial would end quickly and that the criminals would be punished. 

They claimed that not all 18 people were involved in the murder. All but 3-4 people have been implicated due to political vengeance.

Meanwhile, Rashedul Haque Khan, the plaintiff in the case, could not be reached for comments. 

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