Verdict against Papiya couple in arms case today...

Dhaka, Sunday   01 November 2020

Verdict against Papiya couple in arms case today

 Staff Correspondent

 Published: 10:34 AM, 12 October 2020   Updated: 10:40 AM, 12 October 2020

Expelled Jubo Mohila League leader Shamima Nur Papiya and her husband Mofizur Rahman Sumon

Expelled Jubo Mohila League leader Shamima Nur Papiya and her husband Mofizur Rahman Sumon

The verdict in the case against Shamima Nur Papiya, expelled general secretary of Jubo Mohila League’s Narsingdi District unit, and her husband Mofizur Rahman Sumon under the Arms Act will be announced on Monday. 

Judge KM Imrul Kayes of Dhaka's Special Tribunal No. 1 will pronounce the verdict.

Earlier on September 28, the same court had sentenced Regent Hospital chairman Shahed alias Shahed Karim to life imprisonment. He was sentenced to seven more years in prison in the arms case.

Now, the state is looking at the verdict of the Papiya couple. As allegations against the accused were proved, the state is expecting maximum punishment. On the other hand, defendants’ lawyers fear that the trial will end quickly.

Dhaka Metropolitan Public Prosecutor (PP) Abdullah Abu said, “We have been able to prove the allegations against the accused in the case."Hopefully, the maximum sentence for the accused will be life imprisonment.”

Additional Public Prosecutor Tapas Kumar Paul said, “The trial of the two cases has been held in our court. Shahed’s maximum sentence has been confirmed in one case. The verdict in another case is set for Monday. There is no shortage of state efforts to prove the allegations against the accused. We have tried our best and have been able to prove the allegations against the accused. Hopefully, the court will also give the maximum punishment to Papiya and her husband.”

“We have been claiming from the beginning that this is a sorted case," said Shakhawat Ullah Bhuiyan, a lawyer for the Papiya couple, adding, “Weapons have been recovered from them for harassment. We have been able to establish this through the cross-examination of witnesses. The defendants were not involved in the case. The prosecution could not prove the allegations against them. Hopefully, they will be acquitted.”

He said the trial of the case was coming to an end in just 12 working days. “We do not understand why the state is so quick to end the trial,” Shakhawat Ullah Bhuiyan added. 

Earlier, RAB-1 arrested Papiya and her husband along with two accomplices from Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka on February 22 while trying to flee the country. Seven passports, Tk 2,12,270, counterfeit notes of Tk 25,600, 11,481 dollars, some currencies of Sri Lanka and India and two debit cards were recovered from them.

Later, RAB raided the Papiya’s flat in Farmgate and recovered a foreign pistol, two magazines, 20 bullets, five bottles of foreign liquor, Tk 58.41 lakh and credit and debit cards of various banks.

One case was filed under the Arms Act with Sher-e-Bangla Nagar Police Station, one under the Special Powers Act and another under the Special Powers Act with the Airport Police Station were filed.

On June 29, RAB-1 Sub-Inspector (SI) Arifuzzaman, the investigating officer in the case, submitted the chargesheet in the court of Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM). The judge, on August 18, accepted the chargesheet against the two accused. 

On August 23, the same court rejected the plea of ​​acquittal of the accused and ordered the formation of charges. Testimony in the case ended on September 7. 

The testimony of 12 out of 14 witnesses was taken in six working days. At the defense hearing on September 9, the accused pleaded not guilty and sought justice.

On September 24, the prosecution demanded the maximum sentence of life imprisonment for the accused. On the same day, the defense lawyers started presenting their arguments. After the arguments on September 27, the court fixed October 12 as the date of the verdict. The Papiya couple is currently in jail.