The High Court will deliver a verdict any day on the death reference and appeal in BDR carnage case, the biggest ever criminal case in the country’s history in terms of number of accused and convicts.
A three-member special bench of the HC today kept the death reference an appeal as Curia Advisari Vult, a Latin legal term meaning verdict could be delivered anytime, after concluding hearing an argument on them for 370 days.
The court today also rejected three appeals recently filed by the government seeking tougher punishment of the accused who got imprisonment for different period and acquitted by the lower court.
Deputy Attorney General AKM Zahid Sarwar Kazal told The Daily Star that the HC rejected the three appeals of the government as they were filed after a long period of the lower court judgement.
The government has already placed arguments before the HC to uphold the trial court verdict that sentenced 152 convicts to death in the case, the DAG said.
The death reference and the appeals were filed with the HC months after a Dhaka court announced the verdict on November 5, 2013, nearly five years after the bloody mutiny at the BDR headquarters in Pilkhana of Dhaka.
The trial court gave death sentences to 150 soldiers of the erstwhile Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) and to two civilians, and jailed 160 others for life for their roles and involvement in the carnage.
It also handed down rigorous imprisonment, ranging from three to 10 years, to 256 people, mostly BDR soldiers. The court acquitted the remaining 277 accused, but the government later appealed against the acquittal of 69 of them. A total of 846 people, 823 of them BDR personnel, stood trial in the carnage case.
Seventy-four people, including 57 army officials, were massacred during the BDR mutiny on February 25-26 in 2009 at the Pilkhana headquarters of the paramilitary force, later renamed Border Guard Bangladesh.
Meanwhile, 17,306 BDR jawans are facing trial in 11 special BDR courts and 60 summary trial courts for mutiny. At least 78 jawans accused in both the carnage and mutiny cases died from mysterious illnesses after the mutiny. The authorities claimed that many of them have died of heart attack in police custody while a few others committed suicide.
Source: Daily Sun, Dhaka, Bangladesh