Dhaka’s Anti-Terrorism Special Tribunal sets the date after hearing closing arguments
A Dhaka court has set February 16 to pronounce its verdict in the case relating to the murder of writer-blogger Avijit Roy.
On Thursday, Judge Md Majibur Rahman of Dhaka’s Anti-Terrorism Special Tribunal set the date after hearing closing arguments by the prosecution and defence, nearly six years after the assassination which was subsequently followed by the murders of several other bloggers, publishers and freethinkers.
Public Prosecutor (PP) Md Golam Sharuar Khan Zakir confirmed the matter to Dhaka Tribune.
Hoping to secure the highest punishment for those involved in the murder, the prosecution on Wednesday concluded its arguments before the tribunal.
PP Zakir said: “We were able to prove the charges made against the accused.”
Meanwhile, defence lawyer Faruq Ahmed, after the closing arguments on Thursday, claimed to reporters that the prosecution had failed to prove the involvement of the defendants.
"I'm optimistic about their release provided there is fair judgment," he added.
Earlier, a total of 28 prosecution witnesses, including Avijit's father Prof Ajoy Roy, who breathed his last on December 9, 2019, gave depositions before the tribunal.
How it all went down
According to the details of the case, Avijit Roy was hacked by extremists near Suhrawardy Udyan in the TSC area of Dhaka University at around 9:30pm on February 26, 2015.
He was immediately rushed to the Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH), where he died at about 10:30pm.
On February 27, 2015, Avijitt’s father, prominent educationist Ajay Roy, filed a murder case with Shahbagh police station.
On March 13, 2019, Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Sarafuzzaman Ansari filed a charge sheet against six people.
On April 11, 2019, Dhaka Special Anti-Terrorism Tribunal Judge Md Majibur Rahman accepted the charge sheet against the six accused.
On August 1, the judge of the Special Anti-Terrorism Tribunal in Dhaka ordered the beginning of the trial through a framing of charges against the accused.
The accused are Maj (sacked) Syed Mohammad Ziaul Haque alias Zia, Mozammel Hussain alias Simon, Abu Siddique Sohail alias Shakib alias Sajid alias Shahab, Akram Hossain alias Abir, Md. Arafat Rahman and Shafiur Rahman Farabi.
All of them are leaders of the banned militant outfit Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT).
The law enforcement agencies are yet to arrest Maj Zia and Akram Hossain as they have been on the run while the remaining accused are in jail.