Judge defies summons involving gang rape of college student
Dhaka, Bengal: A court in northwestern Bangladesh has issued a warrant ordering the arrest of a judge who has repeatedly defied summons to testify in a case involving the gang rape and murder of a college student in 2008.
“The arrest warrant has been served...this is a non bailable warrant,” said a prosecution lawyer at the district and sessions judge’s court in Lalmonirhat, confirming a report carried by Prothom Alo newspaper.
The report said the district and sessions judge issued the warrant against the then additional chief judicial magistrate of Lalmonirhat, Saifur Rahman, as he failed to appear before the court for the fifth time to testify as a crucial prosecution witness in the case.
The testimony of Rahman, now serving as an additional district and sessions judge at western Jhinaidah, was required for the trial as he recorded the confessional statement of the detained prime suspect of the rape and subsequent murder while he was in Lalmonirhat.
“The copy of the warrant has been sent to Jhinaidah’s police superintendent and district and sessions judge,” prosecution lawyer Safura Begum said.
She said the trial could not proceed even after the complainant, police investigators, concerned doctors and other witnesses testified before the court as Rahman did not turn up to give his deposition as the official who recorded the key suspect’s confession five years ago.
A group of youngsters were raped and later hacked to death Parveen Begum in 2008, sparking nationwide protests and prompting the home ministry to treat the incident as a “sensational case” for close monitoring in a bid to ensure its expedited trial.
Bangladesh courts often issue arrest warrants against police or officials who defy summons or fail to appear in time to testify. However, warrants against judges in such matters are rare.