A Dhaka court on Monday set November 26 for holding hearing on charge framing in sensational Sagira Morshed murder trial.
Today was fixed for holding hearings on charge framing, but the defence pleaded to adjourn the proceedings as one of their lawyers was absent on health grounds. Accepting the defence plea, Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Judge KM Imrul Qayesh reset the date of the indictment hearing.
Earlier on March 9, the court accepted chargesheet against four accused, including Sagira’s brother-in-law and his wife, filed by Investigation Officer and Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) Inspector Rafikul Islam on January 16.
The four accused are– Sagira’s brother-in-law Dr Hasan Ali Chowdhury, his wife Sayedatul Mahmuda, Mahmuda’s brother Anas Mahmud alias Rezwan and Contract killer Rafikul Islam.
Sagira Morshed, 34, was gunned down by unidentified muggers in front of Viqarunnisa Noon School and College in the capital’s Bailey Road on July 25, 1989.
Sagira’s husband Salam Chowdhury filed the case on that day with Ramna Police Station against unidentified miscreants. A rickshaw puller present at the crime scene identified two of the killers, but police had filed the initial chargesheet against one Montu.
Dhaka First Additional Sessions Judge Abu Bakar Siddique on January 17, 1991, framed charges against Montu and testimonies of seven witnesses were also recorded.
But during the hearing, the prosecution alleged the name of Maruf Reza, close relative of then home minister Mahmudul Hasan, came up during the investigation and was also arrested. But his name was dropped from the chargesheet.
Following a plea of the prosecution, the court on May 23, 1991, ordered for further investigation. But the proceeding of the case was stayed by the High Court as Maruf Reza filed a petition, challenging the further investigation order.
But the High Court on June 26, 2019, cleared way for continuing the murder case as it dismissed the rule that had stayed the trial proceedings.
A High Court division bench comprising Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman passed the order, asking PBI to conduct further investigation in the case and complete it within 60-working days.
PBI after that arrested the four and they have already confessed their role in the killing of Sagira.