Mizanur Rahman alias Boro Mizan, who was charge-sheeted as a bomb supplier of the Holey Artisan Bakery attack, was acquitted by the court today.
Judge Mujibur Rahman of the Anti-Terrorism Special Tribunal acquitted him as allegations brought against him could not be proved. The tribunal sentenced seven people to death over the gruesome Holey Artisan attack in Dhaka's Gulshan that took place in 2016.
After the verdict, defence lawyer Delwar Hossain said, "Mizan had been in the custody of the Detective Branch (DM) in a case filed in Bogura six months before the Holey Artisan attack took place."
"Boro Mizan was framed in the case," the lawyer claimed.
According to media reports, Mizan was arrested by a unit of Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) from a bus near Kakoli crossing in Dhaka on March 1, 2017.
From that day on, he had been in police custody.
Investigators termed Boro Mizan as an upazila unit "Neo JMB" commander who led a syndicate that supplied ingredients for grenades and arms used in the Gulshan attack.
They also said Mizan was the "military chief" of Junud-al-Tawhid before joining hands with Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury, the mastermind of the café attack.
After his arrest, Boro Mizan on March 5 was placed on a three-day remand in connection with a case filed with Darus Salam Police Station on November 2, 2016 under the Anti-Terrorism Act.
In the remand prayer, the investigation officer said Mizan was an active JMB member who had long been supplying materials for making arms, ammunition and explosives to facilitate militant activities in the capital.
Meanwhile, as the investigation progressed, Boro Mizan reportedly confessed to police about his involvement in supplying arms for the attack, according to several media reports.
He even gave a confessional statement before Metropolitan Magistrate Nur Nabi, the reports stated.
Mizan claimed that investigators quizzed him twice in connection with the Gulshan attack case.
Court police's Sub-Inspector Farid Mia told media that Mizan had given detailed information on how the weapons and grenades were carried to Holey Artisan Bakery that day.
Subsequently on July 23, 2018, police pressed charges against eight militants, including Boro Mizan, for their alleged involvement in the terror attack.
In the charge-sheet, Mizan was accused of abetting the supply of explosives for the attack.
On October 30 this year, Boro Mizan pleaded not guilty while presenting his statement before the court of Judge Mujibur Rahman of the Anti-Terrorism Special Tribunal, reports a local media outlet.
Mizan claimed that he is a fish trader from Bogura and had no involvement in the case.
"I have only been arrested because of my name. I also informed the Detective Branch in Bogura," he said before the court.
He claimed that despite the identity confusion, lawmen interrogated and tortured him for 16 days.
"I have not done anything. I was merely a fish trader," he said again.
Mizan also claimed that he was tortured and pressured into confessing under section 164.
"The investigation officer told me he will not let me go if I do not confess. They taught me what to say in the confessional statement and made me confess in the court," he said.