The prosecutor of the case has expressed frustration over the absence of two key witnesses in the trial, which the defence claims proves that the charges are false.
Judge Mosammat Kamrunnahar of the No. 2 Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal was set to give the verdict on Oct 12 but the date was deferred as the judge went on holiday.
Besides Shafat, the defendants in the case are Shafat’s friend Shadman Sakif, a director of Regnum Group, Nayem Ashraf, an employee of E-Makers Event Management, Shafat's driver Billal Hossain and bodyguard Rahmat Ali. All five had been out on bail, but were sent to jail on Oct 3 ahead of the verdict.
Shafat had invited the two to his birthday party at the hotel in Banani on Mar 28 that year. The young women said he and his friend Ashraf forced them into a room and raped them at gunpoint.
They accused the three others of aiding the rapists and filming the sexual assault.
Amid an uproar, customs officials raided Apan Jewellers outlets and initiated a case against Dildar Ahmed, Shafat’s father, after finding illegal caches of gold.
Besides Piasha, who was with the plaintiff during the lodging of the case, key witness Ahmed Shahriar did not testify in court. Shahriar, a friend of the alleged victims, were beaten and driven out of the hotel during the incident, according to the case dossier.
Public Prosecutor Afroza Farhana Ahmed Orange said, “Two of my key witnesses did not testify in court. And the CCTV camera footage could not be submitted as evidence. Moreover, the medical report did not find evidence of rape.”
Khairul Islam Liton, lawyer for Nayem Ashraf, said in court that the witnesses would have appeared had the charges been true.
He alleged Piasha had orchestrated the case or Shafat was a victim of unhealthy business competition.