Trial in the sensational Holey Artisan Bakery attack case began Monday as a Dhaka court framed charges against eight extremists for their involvement in the grisly attack to cafe at Gulshan in Dhaka in 2016.
Six of the accused who are now in jail, pleaded not guilty and demanded justice after Judge Mujibur Rahman of the Anti-Terrorism Special Tribunal of Dhaka read out the charges to them.
The court framed charges in sections 2, 6, 8, 9, 12, and 20 of the Anti-terrorism Act.
The judge also set December 3 to begin deposition of witnesses.
The court wanted to know whether the accused have any lawyer to represent them and they replied they have none. The court then advised them to seek help from the legal aid service.
Twenty-nine people, including 20 hostages (18 foreigners and 2 locals), two police officers, five attackers, and 2 bakery staff, were killed in the extremist attack on the evening of July 1, 2016 which is the worst ever extremist attack in Bangladesh.
The six indicted accused are — Jahangir Alam alias Rajib Gandhi, Rakibul Hasan Regan, Rashedul Islam alias Rash, Sohel Mahfuz, Mizanur Rahman alias Bara Mizan and Hadisur Rahman Sagar.
The charge sheet did not include names of 13 more accused as they were killed in encounters with law enforcers at different places on different dates.
The court issued arrest warrants against two fugitives — Shariful Islam Khaled and Mamunur Rashid Ripon.
The investigation officer of the case Inspector Humayun Kabir of Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime unit on July 23 submitted the charge sheet with the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s court showing 211 people as prosecution witnesses.
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