Regent Hospital Chairman Shahed pleads not guilty in firearms case

  • Court Correspondent,
    Published: 2020-09-16 20:54:47 BdST

Mohammad Shahed alias Shahed Karim, the chairman of Regent Hospital accused in a fake COVID-19 test scam, has pleaded not guilty in court in a case over the illegal possession of a firearm.

Shahed expressed hopes for a fair trial at Dhaka Metropolitan Special Tribunal-1 on Wednesday.

He declined to provide any defence witness.

The testimonies of 11 witnesses were read out to Shahed.

He defended himself saying, “I am innocent. The weapon referred in this case was not retrieved from me but from somewhere else.”

After hearing his statement, judge KM Imrul Kayes set Thursday and Sunday next week for the state to present its arguments.

Since the court opened the proceedings on Aug 27, the case hearings are being heard on every working day. The judge has already announced that the verdict will be delivered this month.

The witness hearings of the state concluded on Tuesday when the court heard Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Sadbir Yasir Ahsan Chowdhury and Inspector Md Sairul Islam, the investigation officer of the case.

The court reserved Wednesday for the defence hearing after testimonies of 11 of the 14 witnesses were recorded in four working days.

Shahed’s lawyer Md Moniruzzaman told that his client had not provided any list of defence witnesses to the court.

The Rapid Action Battalion arrested Shahed, charged with a series of fraud, including fake COVID-19 test reports issued by Regent Hospital, when he was reportedly trying to flee to India by a boat on July 16.

He has since been implicated in more than 20 cases, with the charges ranging from fraudulence, possession of illegal arms and involvement in the drug trade.

Police seized a loaded pistol and drugs from a car Shahed used during a raid on a house in Uttara with him in tow on Jul 18.

A case was subsequently started at Uttara West Police Station under the firearms law. The Detective Branch of Police later submitted the chargesheet on Jul 30, naming 14 witnesses in the case.