A Dhaka court will begin hearing arguments on October 23 in connection with the August 21 grenade attack cases.
The date for hearing was fixed after recording statements of the prosecution and defense witnesses was finished on October 11.
Judge Shahed Nuruddin of the Speedy Trial Tribunal-1 fixed the date.
On Saturday, Syed Rezaur Rahman, chief prosecutor in the sensational case, said, “Dhaka Speedy Trial Tribunal-1 is set to hear the arguments on October 23, 24 and 25, to complete the trial over one of the most brutal and heinous attacks on political leaders and activists.”
The tribunal started recording statements from 2011.
As of yet, it has recorded 225 prosecution witnesses and 20 defense witnesses.
The attack on August 21, 2004 killed twenty-four leaders and workers of Awami League and its associate bodies including Ivy Rahman, the then Mohila AL president and wife of late President Zillur Rahman and over 500 others suffered splinter injuries. Several of the injured became permanently crippled.
The attack was carried out on an anti-terrorism rally of Awami League, aimed at killing the front ranking leaders including its President Sheikh Hasina to eliminate the party leaderships.
However, current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the front ranking leaders escaped the carnage narrowly.
According to the case documents, then sub-inspector Faruk Hossain of Motijheel Police Station filed the case on August 22, 2004.
Criminal Investigation Department (CID) senior ASP Fazlul Kabir on June 11, 2008, filed the charge sheet in the case against 22 people including chief of Bangladesh chapter of banned militant outfit Harkat-ul Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI) Mufti Abdul Hannan.
On August 3, 2009, Dhaka Speedy Trial Tribunal-1 ordered further investigation, accepting a plea of the prosecution.
New investigation officer and superintendent of police of CID Abdul Kahar Akand on July 3, 2011, filed two separate charge sheets, one for murder and another under explosive substances act, against total 52, including BNP senior vice chairman Tarique Rahman.
“Of the total 52 accused, 18 are yet to be arrested, eight are on bail and the rest are behind the bars. Two prime accused former Jamaat secretary general Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid has been hanged in crimes against humanity case, while Mufti Hannan and his associate Shahidul Alam Bipul have also been executed for 2004 grenade attack at Shah Jalal shrine in Sylhet and their names have been dropped from the case,” said advocate Mosharraf Hossain Kajal, special public prosecutor.
Of the high profile accused in the case, former state minister for home affairs Lutfuzzaman Babar, former deputy minister for information Abdus Salam Pintu are in jail.
Former top officials of police Ashraful Huda, Shahudul Haque, Khoda Boksh Chowdhury, SP Ruhul Amin, ASP Atikur Rahman and Abdur Rashid are on bail in the case.
According to the intelligence sources, of the fugitives, Tarique Rahman is in London, Shah Mofazzal Hossain Kaikobad in the Middle East, Mohammad Hanif of Hanif Enterprise is in Kolkata, Major General (retd) ATM Amin in the USA, Lt Colonel (retd) Saiful Islam Joardar in Canada, Ratul Babu in India, Anisul Morsalin and Mohibul Mottakin are in Indian jail and Mawala Tazuddin is in South Africa.