BANGLADESH: 5 CONVICTS SENTENCED TO DEATH IN RAPE CASE ACQUITTED
December 15, 2020:
Netrokona High Court on 14 December 2020 acquitted five convicts who were sentenced to death for gang-raping a teenager. (Sources: EN24, 14/12/2020)
The High Court bench of Justice SM Emdadul Haque and Justice Bhishmadev Chakraborty passed judgment on the death reference (application for sanction of death sentence) and hearing of the accused’s appeal and jail appeal.
Defendants’ attorneys said the state court could not prove the allegations against the convicts beyond a reasonable doubt.
Deputy Attorney General Mozammel Haque Rana Siddiqui represented the state in the court. Lawyers AKM Fazlul Haque Khan Farid, AM Mahbub Uddin, Bazlul Kabir, Afil Uddin, Shakib Mahbub, Saifur Rahman Rahi and state-appointed lawyer SM Shafiqul Islam represented the accused.
Defendant’s lawyer Fazlul Haque Farid said the medical report stated that there were no signs of rape in the case. Moreover, there were inconsistencies between the statement of the plaintiff and the statement of the witness. As a result, the allegation of rape is not beyond doubt.
Deputy Attorney General Mozammel Haque, who is handling the case on behalf of the state, blamed the conduct of witnesses for the failure to prove the allegations.
Asked whether the state would appeal against the verdict, he said he would send a note to the attorney general. He will appeal if he decides.
On 25 February 2015, 13 years after the incident, the Netrokona Women and Child Abuse Suppression Tribunal sentenced five of the six accused in the case to death.
According to the case statement, on 20 July 2002, the girl was on her way to a relative’s house in Bahadurpur village of Netrokona Sadar Police Station when she reached the bridge of Hogla paved road in Kumarkhali area at night. Was raped. She was later taken to a nearby building and raped again.
Meanwhile, when the police arrived after receiving the news, the accused went down to the water of the bill with the girl, it has been said in the case. Later, he left the girl and fled.
The next day, the girl herself filed a case with Purbadhala police station. He was 15 years old then.
Four months after the incident, the police filed a chargesheet on 8 November of that year. Ten years later, on 9 October 2012, charges were framed against six accused in court. Three years later, on 25 February 2015, five accused were sentenced to death and one was acquitted.