Tag: Trial

Hotel Raintree double rape: Trial proceeding at snail’s pace

File Photo: Shafat Ahmed (on the front), one of the main accused in the Banani rape case, son of Dildar Ahmed, one of the owners of Apan Jewellers Dhaka Tribune

All 5 accused out on bail

Three and half years have already elapsed since the rape of two private university students at The Raintree Dhaka hotel in Banani in 2017, but the trial in the case is yet to be completed.

The trial is now pending with Dhaka Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal-7 due to non-appearance of witnesses and negligence of officials concerned, court sources said. Only 18 out of 47 prosecution witnesses have testified before the tribunal in the last three and half years.

The 18th prosecution witness Mahmadul Hasan, former Dhaka metropolitan magistrate, testified before the tribunal on October 14. Subsequently, the court adjourned the hearing in the case till November 18.

Special Public Prosecutor Afroza Farhana Ahmed told this correspondent: “This is one of the very important cases but there is not much progress in the case due to absence of witnesses.”

There are allegations that prosecution witnesses are not turning up at the court due to threats against their lives by the families of the accused.

She also alleged that lawyers of the accused are wasting time by giving various excuses.

Denying allegations of negligence, the state lawyer said: “Trial proceedings are now being hampering as the two senior defence lawyers –Mosharraf Hossain Kajol and Mahabub Hossain—have contracted Covid-19.”

All five accused, including prime accused Shafat Ahmed, are currently roaming free life after being released on bail.

It has been reported that around 200,000 cases are pending with Woman and Children Repression Prevention Tribunals in 64 districts of the country. Among these cases, about 40,000 have been pending for more than five years.

Experts said the trials of cases filed under the Woman and Child Repression (Prevention) Act do not end easily, even though the law has a provision for a quick disposal of these cases.

Bangladesh National Women Lawyers Association President Advocate Salma Ali said the law requires such cases to be disposed of within 180 days, but there is no record of any cases being completed within the stipulated time.

Defendants in the cases are often influential and can manipulate the judiciary in many ways, she added.

According to the charge sheet of the Hotel Raintree rape case, the two private university students went to the hotel around 9:00pm after being invited to a birthday party on March 28, 2017. After the party ended around midnight, Shafat Ahmed and Shafat’s friend Nayem Ashraf raped the girls in two rooms.

Shafat’s driver Billal Hossain filmed the rape and bodyguard Rahmat Ali intimidated the girls, while Shadman Sakif refrained from informing the hotel authorities and police about the incident. 

Earlier, on July 13, 2017, the court started the trial through the framing of charges against the five accused. Of the accused, Shafat and Nayem were charged with raping the victims while Billal, Rahmat and Sakif

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Germany Warns on Tracing; Sanofi Plans Human Trial: Virus Update

(Bloomberg) — The U.K. government imposed tougher curbs on London in a bid to contain a spike in new cases, while France set a curfew in Paris. European nations from Germany to Italy to the Czech Republic reported record increases in new infections.

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An experimental coronavirus vaccine developed by Translate Bio Inc. and French drug giant Sanofi elicited high levels of protective neutralizing antibodies in early-stage animal studies, clearing the way for a clinical trial to start later this year. Germany’s health minister warned that the nation’s tracing capacity is nearing its limit.

Singapore and Hong Kong will create a travel bubble that exempts people from both cities from quarantine, an agreement that will re-open links between Asia’s two premier financial hubs. India reported fewer than 70,000 cases for the fourth straight day, though daily infections are still higher than in the U.S.

Key Developments:

Global Tracker: Cases pass 38.5 million; deaths top 1.09 millionCovid’s deadly U.S. comeback widens, spreads to 46 statesWho’s succeeding against the coronavirus and why: QuickTakeRussia to miss Covid-19 vaccine goal amid production hurdlesEnergy demand will get a work-from-home boost this winterThe global economy is facing new fiscal cliffs

Subscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click CVID on the terminal for global data on coronavirus cases and deaths.



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Argentina Now Among Top Five Most-Infected Countries (9:12 a.m. NY)

A patchy lockdown that’s dragged on for 210 days has failed to spare Argentina from a late and aggressive outbreak of coronavirus.

Argentina passed Colombia as the most-infected country in Latin America after only Brazil and is currently number five globally in overall cases trailing the U.S., India, its northern neighbor and Russia. In total, 931,967 people have tested positive while 24,921 fatalities have been reported.

Germany Warns Tracing Capacity Near Limits (8:51 a.m. NY)

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s top health official warned that the recent surge in coronavirus infections is threatening Germany’s ability to track cases and check the spread of the disease.

“The problem is that day by day with increasing numbers our local authorities are not able any more to trace,” Health Minister Jens Spahn said Thursday during a Bloomberg webinar. “And then you lose track” and the numbers are increasing exponentially, he added.

Sanofi Plans Human Trial of mRNA Vaccine (8:14 a.m. NY)

Two doses of the candidate induced neutralizing antibodies “significantly higher” than those observed in Covid-19 patients as well as a response in infection-fighting T-cells in non-human primates, Translate Bio and Sanofi said in a statement.

The candidate is a so-called messenger RNA vaccine, which prompts the body to make a key protein from the virus, sparking an immune response. It’s based on technology similar to that used by one of the fastest-moving vaccine developers, Moderna Inc.

Sanofi is developing another coronavirus vaccine in collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline Plc. That shot is already in a clinical trial, and first results are expected in early December to support the start of a broader phase

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