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'Maximum punishment was expected'

  • Chittagong Bureau,
    Published: 2014-01-30 16:03:59 BdST


The state counsel has expressed satisfaction over the verdict of the Chittagong arms haul case and said that maximum punishment for the convicts were expected.

"There is no scope to take this case as a regular one. This is an unprecedented incident and a sensitive case. That's why the court gave maximum punishment," Public Prosecutor Kamal Uddin said after the verdict.

"The court has awarded maximum punishments in the smuggling and arms cases to the 14 as the witnesses produced by the state were credible and the charges were proven" he added.

Chittagong Metropolitan Sessions Judge and Special Tribunal-1 judge SM Mojibur Rahman ordered death for 14 including Jamaat-e-Islami chief Matiur Rahman Nizami, former State Minister for Home Lutfozzaman Babar on Thursday in one of the cases filed over the arms haul.

In the other case, the court sentenced life in prison for the 14.

The 12 others who have been convicted include former Industries Secretary Nurul Amin, former NSI Director General (DG) Brigadier General (rtd) Md Abdur Rahim, former NSI DG Major General (rtd) Rezzakul Haider Chowdhury and Indian separatist organisation ULFA's military wing chief Paresh Barua.

Ruling out the defence's claim of the verdict being 'political', the state counsel said, "Those who have testified in this case were high-officials of the military and civil administration during the previous (BNP-Jamaat alliance) government. This is not a case of political harassment."

Investigations revealed that the arms were smuggled in for the ULFA; if they were not hauled it would have gone in the hands of Indian separatist or would create disaster in Bangladesh, added Kamal Uddin.