Murder charges over factory collapse

A court in Bangladesh has indicted 41 suspects on murder charges over the deaths of more than 1,100 people in the collapse of a building which housed garment factories.

Investigators initially said those accused of wrongdoing in the April 2013 collapse of the Rana Plaza building would be charged with culpable homicide, but they later changed the charges to murder due to the gravity of the disaster. About 2,500 people were injured.

Masud Rana, who owned the building outside Dhaka, and 33 other people pleaded not guilty when the charges against them were read out in court. Another seven who absconded will be tried in absentia, said prosecutor Mizanur Rahman.

District judge SM Kuddus Zaman said the trial will begin on September 18.

Those found guilty of murder could face the death penalty as a police report submitted to the court called the deaths a “mass killing”.

Officials from Bangladesh’s Criminal Investigation Department said the change from culpable homicide charges came after the investigation found Mr Rana, his staff, and management of the five factories had allegedly forced the workers to enter the building the day of the collapse despite their unwillingness to work after the complex developed major cracks a day before.


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