A Barguna court yesterday sentenced 11 juveniles to different jail terms in the much-talked-about Rifat Sharif murder case.
It also acquitted three other juveniles of their crime.
Of the 11, six were awarded 10 years of imprisonment, four were awarded five years each and one was awarded three years.
Barguna Children’s Court Judge Md Hafizur Rahman delivered the verdict from 1:00pm to 2:45pm, with all 14 accused present in court after they were brought in from Barguna jail in the morning.
Of 75 witnesses, 74 testified against the 14 juveniles in court, sources said.
After delivering the verdict, Barguna Children’s Court Public Prosecutor (PP) Md Mostafizur Rahman Babul briefed journalists and expressed satisfaction over the verdict.
“We are happy with the judgement as the real culprits have been awarded punishment. Such a judgement will help reduce such heinous crimes in the future.”
However, Md Humayun Kabir, lawyer of one of the accused, said, “We are not happy with the judgement. We are being deprived of proper justice. We will go to the High Court to ensure proper justice and hope we will get it there.”
Another accused’s lawyer Golam Mostafa Quader said, “We hoped that all the juveniles accused would be acquitted but now we are frustrated. We hope they will be acquitted after we appeal to the High Court.”
Slain Rifat Sharif’s father Abdul Halim Dulal Sharif reacted positively to the verdict. “My family and I are happy with this judgement. My son’s soul can now rest in peace, I believe.”
“We were waiting for this judgement. We demand the execution of all six adults accused, who were awarded the death penalty for my son’s murder,” he said.
An elder brother of an accused said, “My brother is innocent. Police have wrongfully framed him. He was never involved in criminal activities.”
On January 8, the Barguna District and Sessions Judge’s Court framed charges against the 14 juveniles in the Rifat murder case, and hearings of their testimonies began from January 13.
Earlier on September 30, the Barguna District and Sessions’ Judge’s Court delivered the verdict against 10 adult accused in the Rifat murder case and ordered the execution of six, including Rifat’s wife Ayesha Siddique Minni, while four were acquitted.
Rifat Sharif was killed in front of Barguna Government College on June 26 last year, after which 24 people were charged.
The main accused in the case, Nayan Bond, was killed in a gunfight with police on July 2 last year.