Staff Correspondent, bdnews24.com
Published: 2017-08-13 11:01:47 BdST
Though the decision was to be announced on Aug 13, the bench of Justices Bhabani Prasad Singha and Mustafa Zaman Islam rescheduled it on Sunday.
“It has been delayed because the decision is not yet ready,” said defence counsel Mansurul Haq Chowdhury.
On Jul 26, the High Court bench set the Aug 1 date for the verdict after hearing the death reference and appeals in the case. Death sentences issued by trial courts are forwarded for approval to the High Court as ‘death references’.
Seven murder case
The abduction and gruesome killing of seven people, including councillor Nazrul Islam and senior lawyer Chandan Kumar Sarkar from Narayanganj three years ago shocked the nation.
The news later made international headlines when it emerged that members of the elite police unit the Rapid Action Battalion or RAB, were involved in the killings.
Former Narayanganj City Corporation councillor Nur Hossain and three former senior officers of the local RAB unit, including its then chief, former army lieutenant colonel Tarek Sayeed Mohammad, are among the 26 people awarded the death penalty for the 2014 sensational seven-murder.
Tarek is also a son-in-law of Disaster Management and Relief Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya.
On Saturday, the families of the victims told bdnews24.com that exemplary punishment should be confirmed for the convicts to stop such crimes happen again.
Nazrul Islam's wife Selina Islam Beauty told bdnews24.com: "The entire world is watching the verdict. We lost our loved ones. We want Nur Hossain, the three former RAB officers and all other convicts to be hanged."
"RAB is our protector, but it acted as the predator. They abducted and killed seven people, including my husband. It was not simply murder; seven families are destroyed," she added.
She hoped the High Court would uphold the death penalties and those would be executed quickly.
Sixteen of the death-row convicts were members of the elite force. Nine other RAB men were given various previous terms in the trial court verdict issued on Jan 16 this year.
Nazrul's friend Moniruzzaman Swapan, driver Jahangir Alam, and lawyer Chandan's driver 'Ibrahim' were also among the seven victims.
Jahangir's wife Shamsunnahar Nupur said, "We are in misery after losing the only bread earner of our family. My daughter has not seen her father. She only cries holding his photo."
Swapan's brother 'Ripon' demanded to hang of the convicts.
Ibrahim's father Abdul Wahab Mia said, "My daughter-in-law and my grandchildren are living a miserable life after the death of my son. We are poor people. We want the execution of death sentences of the murderers, nothing else."
On the afternoon of Apr 27, 2014, City Councillor Nazrul and five of his associates were abducted from their car on Dhaka-Narayanganj Link Road.
Around the same time and from the same location, senior lawyer Chandan and his chauffeur, who were in another car, were kidnapped.
Three days later, their bloated bodies were found floating in the Shitalakkhya River.
From the very beginning, the slain councillor’s family claimed that Nur Hossain had paid Tk 60 million to senior officers of the local RAB unit to carry out the murder of his rival.
Both Nazrul and Nur Hossain belonged to the ruling Awami League.