The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court today delivered its decision by upholding the trial court’s verdict awarding death penalty to sacked dafader Marfat Ali Shah and lance dafader Abul Hasem Mridha in jail killing case.
Hearing the appeal petition against the High Court verdict, a six-member Appellate Division bench headed by Chief Justice M Muzammel Hossain pronounced the verdict.
The High Court division earlier acquitted Ali and Mridha of the charge by amending the trial court verdict.
The Metropolitan Sessions Judge’s Court (Trial Court) on October 20, 2004 sentenced to death three fugitive former military personnel, retired army risaldar Muslemuddin, dafader Marfat Ali Shah and dafader Abul Hasem Mridha and life-term to 12 others for the November 3, 1975 jail killing.
The trial court acquitted former ministers Obaiudur Rahman, Shah Moazzem Hossain, Taheruddin Thakur, Nurul Islam Monjur and former major Khairuzzaman.
The trial court awarded life-term to 12 other accused -sacked lieutenant colonels Syed Faruque Rahman and Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan, Khondker Abdur Rashid, Aziz Pasha, AKM Mohiuddin and M A Rashed Chowdhury, sacked majors Bazlul Huda, Noor Chowdhury, Ahmed Sharful Hossain, Kismat Hossain, captain Nazmul Hossain Ansari and captain Mazed.
The High Court in a verdict on August 28, 2008 on hearing the appeal and death references confirmed the death penalty of fugitive retired army Risaldar Muslemuddin but acquitted two others – sacked army dafadar Marfat Ali Shah and lance dafadar Abul Hashim Mridha who were earlier handed down the capital Punishment.
The High Court, however, upheld the life imprisonment of seven others – sacked lt. colonels Khondker Abdur Rashid, Aziz Pasha, MA Rashed Chowdhury, sacked majors Noor Chowdhury, Ahmed Shariful Hossain Dalim, Kismat Hossain, sacked captain Nazmul Hossain Ansari and Mazed with the observation that the charges against them were not proved beyond doubt, but they will not get any benefit as they did not file appeal against the trial court’s verdict.
The government on September 14, 2009 filed several leave to appeal petitions with the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court against the verdict of the High Court of the jail killing case.
The case was originally lodged in 1996, nearly 21 years after the killing of four national leaders – Syed Nazrul Islam, Tajuddin Ahmed, M Mansur Ali and AHM Quamruzzaman – inside the Dhaka Central Jail, nearly three months after the assassination of Bangabandhu along with most of his family members.