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Not a single case was settled in a year

by Afonso
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Although the case is supposed to be settled within three months, not a single case has been settled in Chittagong in the last one year in the Anti-Terrorism Tribunal. Most cases hinge on evidence and logic. The public counsel of the tribunal said that time is needed so that there is no deficiency in the judicial process of these sensitive cases. There is also the complication of non-appearance of witnesses.

The journey of the Anti-Terrorism Tribunal to speed up the trial of various sensitive cases including terrorism and militant activities against the state. Various important cases including Harkatul Jihad, Hamza Bgrade, JMB-Navya JMB, Hizbut Tahrir are ongoing in Chittagong court under this tribunal.

Currently 119 cases are pending in this court. Out of this, 95 cases are being heard, 2 arguments are being heard and the remaining cases are pending at various stages including complaint formation. In 2022, after the direction of the High Court, these cases were said to be speeding up, but not a single case reached a verdict in the last one year.

The state says that there was no government counsel assigned to this court after the Corona epidemic. The proceedings are being conducted by the acting counsel of another court. Apart from this, the number of witnesses in these sensitive cases is very high. So the testimony is taking a long time.

Rubel Pal, public counsel of the Chittagong Anti-Terrorism Tribunal, told Independent Television, “I have started filing charges and taking evidence in the cases of Hizbut Tahrir, Ansarullah Bangla Team, Shakila Farzana, Kazi Deuri incident since I joined last year.”

However, the civil society considers it necessary to speed up these cases which are important to ensure the security of the state and to convey a strict stance against terrorism.

Aktar Kabir Chowdhury, editor of Citizen for Good Governance of Chittagong, told Independent Television, ‘If the trial is prolonged, it becomes difficult to reduce the terror in the society. We hope that the Anti-Terrorism Court Tribunal will expeditiously dispose of the pending cases in all respects.’

Among the cases discussed in this tribunal, the court gave death sentence to Zahedul Islam alias Boma Mizan and life sentence to Javed Iqbal in connection with the bomb attack on the Chittagong court building in October 2021.



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