Bongobondhu Murder Case – Bongobondhu Information & Research Center
– Bangladesh Supreme Court
In the early dawn of 15th August, 1975 the then president and the founding father of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh , Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, and the members of his family, excepting two daughters, in the official residence of the then President at Road No. 3, Dhanmondi R/A, were killed.
Martial law was imposed in the country and an indemnity ordinance was passed on November 8, 1975 by the then parliament immunity from prosecution the self-confessed killers of Bangabandhu by incorporating the notorious said ordinance in the Fifth Amendment to the constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh which is a manipulation of the constitution. No subsequent government repealed the said ordinance but played with the constitution until the indemnity ordinance was repealed in 1996.
The indemnity ordinance caused delay of 21 years even to lodge the FIR which was finally lodged on October 2, 1996. The charge-sheet was submitted on January 15, 1997.The FIR named twenty-three people, of whom four were dead by the time the charge-sheet was prepared. So charges were lodged against nineteen people, of whom twelve were absconding, and seven left to face trial. The trial commenced on March 12, 1997. Because twelve of the accused were absconding, the formalities for trial in absentia had to be completed. It took some time for the formalities to be completed and for state defence counsel to be appointed. On April 7,1997, charges were framed and formally accepted by the court. Five of the condemned convicts are in jail while one of the fugitives has already died during long hiding and the rest are on the run abroad.
Seven honourable judges were embarrassed to hear the case. Finally, Chief Justice Latifur Rahman intervened and a special bench was formed to hear the case.
Justice MM Ruhul Amin, sentenced nine of the defendants to death, one to life imprisonment, and acquitted five. Justice ABM Khairul Huq convicted and sentenced to death all fifteen.
There was a split with respect to six of the defendants and the matter went to Justice Fazlul Karim, who acquitted three of the six and sentenced the other three to death.
Finally out of the nineteen charged, twelve were convicted and sentenced to death, and seven were acquitted.
The final judgement was handed down on April 31, 2001.
The case is now awaiting appeal hearing before the appellate division of the supreme court . The nation awaits this verdict with great anticipation.