Bangladesh to make convicts appear virtually in court after escape of death-row militants

The home minister and the law secretary say the work to start the virtual appearance of convicts has begun

Published : 23 Nov 2022, 07:53 PM
Updated : 23 Nov 2022, 07:53 PM

The government has decided to make convicts, especially those on death row, appear in court from prison via video link in the aftermath of a daring escape by two militants. 

“We’re working on the matter,” Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said on Wednesday, four days after the death-row militants made off from a crowded court area in Dhaka. 

“I’ve spoken to the law minister [Anisul Huq] about conducting trial proceedings virtually without bringing the death-row inmate or convicts to court. He has agreed. The work will begin whenever the law ministry gives the greenlight.” 

Law and Justice Secretary Md Golam Sarwar said they started working on the matter.

He hopes the process of convicts appearing virtually will begin soon. 

“Guidelines will be needed for the judges, lawyers and accused. We’re looking into the legal ways.” 

Lawyers have welcomed the move. 

“It’s very essential under the current circumstances. It’ll be good for all,” said Abdullah Abu, chief public prosecutor at Metropolitan Sessions Judge’s Court. 

“It’ll be acceptable to everyone if all the facilities are ensured in the digital system. No one would disagree,” senior lawyer Mosharraf Hossain Kazol said. 

The convicted militants fled the court premises by motorcycle with the help of their associates on Sunday. Two other convicts were captured at the scene. 

Police issued a red alert and declared Tk 2 million rewards for information leading to their capture. 

The law enforcers have bolstered security in courts and during transportation of accused and convicts, but lawyers doubt whether the strengthened security will prevail.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher