High Court accepts appeals against Chittagong arms haul verdict

High Court accepts appeals against Chittagong arms haul verdict

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The High Court has accepted appeals of the four death row convicts including Jamaat-e-Islami chief Matiur Rahman Nizami against the verdict of the 2004 Chittagong arms haul case.
The bench of Justice Mohammad Rezaul Haque and Justice Gobinda Chandra Tagore accepted the appeals on Wednesday.
It, however, did not set a date to hear the matter.The three other convicts, who filed appeals, are former director general (DG) of National Security Intelligence (NSI) Maj Gen (retd) Rezzakul Haider Chowdhury, ex-NSI DG Brig Gen (retd) Abdur Rahim and former NSI deputy director Maj (retd) Liakat Hossain.
On Jan 30, the Metropolitan Special Tribunal -1 of Chittagong awarded death sentences to 14 including, former State Minister for Home Lutfozzaman Babar and ULFA’s military wing chief Paresh Barua on the arms smuggling case filed over the arms haul.
All of them were also given life in prison in the second case filed under the Arms Act.
Police had seized 10 trucks of weapons and ammunition from the state-owned Chittagong Urea Fertiliser Ltd (CUFL) jetty on the banks of Karnafuli River in Chittagong’s Anowara while the consignment was being offloaded from two fishing trawlers early on April 2, 2004.
Around 1,500 boxes containing submachine guns, AK-47 assault rifles, carbines, Chinese pistols, rocket shells and launchers, hand grenades and bullets were seized.
Later that day, Karnafuli Police Station’s (at that time) OC Ahadur Rahman filed the two separate cases.
The verdict on the cases came nearly 10 years after the seizure of the huge cache of arms that took the nation by surprise and caused a furore in Bangladesh.
Investigations had found that the 10 truckloads of arms and ammunition had been manufactured in China and were brought in for Indian separatist organisation the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA).
Charges were pressed against 52 persons in the two cases filed over the haul. Of them, 38 were acquitted by the court.
But fourteen including Nizami and Babar were given death sentence. – bdnews24.com

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