Dhaka, Sep 22: Thirteen people were on Tuesday charged by a Bangladeshi court in the brutal lynching of a 13-year-old boy that provoked a national outrage after a video of him being tortured went viral.
Sylhet Metropolitan Sessions Court Judge Akbor Hossain Mridha framed charges against the 13 accused, including main suspect Kamrul Islam who fled to Saudi Arabia, and said that trial will begin on October 1 by recording statements of the witnesses. [Inhumanity in Bangladesh: 13-year-old boy tortured to death; video goes viral]
Prosecutor Mokur Ali said that the statements of the witnesses will be recorded till October 15, the Daily Star reported.
The boy, Samiul Islam Rajon, died of internal bleeding, after being tortured by a group of persons over an allegation of stealing a bicycle in the northeastern city of Sylhet on July 8.
Following a police probe, the allegation was found untrue. One of the accused filmed the entire incident of thrashing the boy using a mobile phone camera and uploaded it on Internet which went viral.
The 28-minute video in which the boy was seen crying and pleading to the attackers not to beat him stunned the nation. Key suspect Kamrul fled to Saudi Arabia soon after the incident.
He was later detained by Saudi police. Despite Bangladesh government's diplomatic efforts to bring him back, the Saudi authorities are yet to make it clear when they will repatriate him, the daily said.
Ten men are in police custody after being arrested with the help of local residents, and two others are still at large. The 10 arrested defendants today pleaded innocent.
Some face murder charges while others are accused of helping the attackers. Murder charges carry a maximum penalty of death.