Dhaka, Nov 18 (IANS): An anti-terrorism tribunal in Bangladesh will on November 27 deliver its verdict in the 2016 Holey Artisan cafe attack case that killed 22 people, including an Indian student among foreign nationals, reports said on Monday.
Dhaka's Anti-Terrorism Special Tribunal Judge Mohammad Mojibur Rahman set the date after hearing the arguments of the state and the defence in the case, bdnews24 reported citing Public Prosecutor Golam Sarwar Khan Zakir as saying.
The announcement comes after eight defendants in the case pleaded not guilty to the charges related to the carnage that took place on July 1, 2016 when five armed men laid siege to the Holey Artisan Bakery for 12 hours, taking dozens of hostages and killing 22, including nine Italians and seven Japanese and Indian student Tarishi Jain, 19, studying in the University of California, Berkeley.
The Islamic State (IS) terror group had claimed responsibility for the attack although the Bangladesh government maintained that the massacre was masterminded by the jihadi group Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).
The court completed recording testimonies of 113 witnesses on October 27.
Out of the 21 suspects, 13 have been killed in raids at different times and the eight remaining accused are behind bars, said Investigation Officer Humayun Kabir.
The 13 killed in raids include the five killed in the assault to free hostages from the eatery.
Between 2013 and 2016, Bangladesh had witnessed a wave of Islamist attacks against religious minorities, foreigners, gay activists, intellectuals and bloggers critical of fundamentalism.