The trial of Sayeed Ahmed Tipu's murder case did not make any headway in around a decade due to the prosecution's failure to produce witnesses before court for their statements.
Tipu was the young brother of Army Chief General Aziz Ahmed, who filed the case in 1999 after his brother was shot dead in the city. Aziz Ahmed gave his deposition before court on January 6, 2004.
Till May 22, 2011, 32 out of 41 prosecution witnesses had given their depositions, according to the prosecution.
The remaining nine however did not appear before court to testify since then. Of them, five are investigative officers of the case, who are to give their depositions after the remaining four witnesses.
The court issued several summonses against the four remaining witnesses, the prosecution said.
On February 18 this year, Judge Begum Chaman Chowdhury of the Special Tribunal for Prevention of Public Safety Disturbances of Dhaka issued non-bailable arrest warrants against the four absentee witnesses that include Anis Ahmed, brother of Aziz Ahmed, for failing to comply with multiple court orders.
The other three witnesses served with non-bailable arrest warrants are Md Kamrul, Md Alauddin and Md Nizam Uddin.
The tribunal also directed Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner and Superintendent of Police to take necessary steps to produce all four witnesses before court on March 11 -- the next scheduled date of hearing in the case.
Police is the only agency obliged to produce witnesses before the court as per provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure, Anwer Shahadat Shawn, special public prosecutor, told The Daily Star on Wednesday.
Despite the summonses issued many times, police failed to produce any witness since May 2011 before the court, which is delaying the trial proceedings, he said, adding, "Most of the remaining witnesses are also not appearing before the court due to security concerns as the accused are top listed criminals."
Anis Ahmed has remained a fugitive since May 2004 when he was convicted of murdering a businessman.
In May 2004, the Speedy Trial Tribunal-3 of Dhaka sentenced him and his brothers Haris Ahmed to life-term imprisonments in connection with the murder of businessman Mustafizur Rahman Mustafa.
However, according to a government circular, the home ministry on March 28, 2019, issued a notification pardoning both Anis and Haris.
Tipu was shot dead around 7:30pm on March 13, 1999 on Airport Road in the capital's Khilkhet area when he was in a private car, according to the FIR.
Aziz Ahmed filed a murder case with Badda Police Station in this regard on March 13, 1999.
On July 22, 2001, Md Mokbul Hossain, an inspector of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of police, submitted a charge sheet accusing six people -- top listed criminals Sanjidul Islam Imon, Mohammad Islam Munna, Shamsur Rahman Mona, Anisur Rahman Zaved, Tarique Saif Mamun and Sagor Hossain Osman.
The court framed charges against the six on December 10, 2003.
Of them, Osman died during trial, Imon, Mona and Mamun are now on bail, while Munna and Zaved are on the run.