A Dhaka tribunal is set to deliver today the verdict in the case filed over the murder of former USAID official Xulhaz Mannan and his friend Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy against eight members of banned militant outfit Ansar al Islam.
Judge Md Majibur Rahman of the Anti-Terrorism Special Tribunal of Dhaka is scheduled to start reading out the judgement around 11:30am, Assistant Public Prosecutor Golam Sharuar Khan told The Daily Star.
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The eight accused are Syed Mohammad Ziaul Haque alias Maj (sacked) Zia, Akram Hossain, Sabbirul Haque Chowdhury, Junaid Ahmed alias Maulana Junaid, Mozammel Hossain Saimon, Arafat Rahman Siam, Sheikh Abdullah alias Jubair and Asadullah alias Foyjul.
Zia, Akram, Sabbirul and Junaid are on the run. Mozammel, Arafat, Abdullah and Asadullah are behind bars.
A total of 24 prosecution witnesses gave deposition before the tribunal, said the state lawyer.
During the closing arguments on August 23, the prosecution told the court that they were able to prove the charges against the accused and sought capital punishment for them.
The defence sought acquittal of its clients while placing its arguments.
On April 25, 2016, Xulhaz and Mahbub were hacked to death inside Xulhaz’s Kalabagan home in the capital.
Minhaz Mannan Emon, elder brother of Xulhaz, filed a murder case accusing some unidentified assailants with Kalabagan Police Station the same day.
Inspector Muhammad Monirul Islam of Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime unit of police on July 23, 2019, submitted the case’s charge sheet to the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court of Dhaka against eight Ansar al Islam members, including Zia, in the case.
On November 19 last year, the Anti-Terrorism Special Tribunal framed charges against them.
On February 10 this year, the same tribunal sentenced Zia, Akram, Mozammel and Abdullah to death for murdering Jagriti Prokashoni publisher Faisal Arefin Dipan inside Aziz Super Market in the capital’s Shahbagh area.
On February 16, Zia, Akram, Mozammel and Arafat were sentence to death for killing writer-blogger Avijit Roy near the TSC of Dhaka University.