Five to die for Khalaf murder

Court Correspondent

A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced five people to death for killing Saudi Embassy official Khalaf Al Ali in March this year.

They are Mohammad Al Amin, Saiful Islam Mamun, Rafiqul Islam Khokon, Akbar Ali Lalu and Selim Chowdhury.

Of them, Selim, who is on the run, would face punishment from the day of his arrest or surrender, the court said while delivering the verdict. The convicts can appeal to the higher court within 30 days from the day they receive the judgement copy, challenging the trial court's verdict.

Khalaf, 45, an official at the consular section of the Saudi Embassy in Dhaka, was shot dead on March 6 near his Gulshan house in the capital's diplomatic enclave.

More than four months after the murder, Detective Branch of police got a breakthrough in the case when they got the revolver that had been used in the shooting.

The revolver was seized in June from the arrestees — Al Amin, Mamun, Khokon and Lalu — in a robbery case.

Upon finding out their link with the killing, DB police on July 24 showed them arrested in the murder case.

In their confessional statements before a magistrate, Al Amin and Lalu said they had killed the Saudi Embassy official, having been failed to realise the dollars the victim had had with him. They also named Selim as the fifth person involved in the killing.

The DB police on September 20 pressed charges against the four and Selim in the murder case.

After a month, the case was transferred to the Speedy Trial Tribunal-4 from the Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court for quick disposal as per a decision of the home ministry.

On completion of the hearing of arguments from both the prosecution and the defence, Judge Mohammad Motahar Hossain of the tribunal on December 20 fixed the date for announcing the verdict.

The verdict was given in presence of the accused except for Selim.

Saudi Ambassador to Bangladesh Abdullah Naser-A Al bin Bussairy and one of Khalaf's brothers Khalaf Al Khaled were present at the court yesterday.

They told journalists that they were satisfied with the verdict.

Source: The Daily Star