Minni, initially named as a witness, was later arrested on July 16 last year and became the prime suspect of the case
Ayesha Siddika Minni would have never expected a death penalty in the case filed over sensational murder of her husband Rifat Sharif.
Minni and five others on Wednesday have been sentenced to death in the sensational murder case of 2019.
The story of Minni and Noyon Bond came to the light after the killing of Rifat.
Minni was previously married to Nayon Bond and later she married Rifat without her divorce with Nayon, according to the investigation. After Minni's second marriage, she was in regular touch with her first husband Nayon. Even, Minni contacted the accused before and after the murder of Rifat.
Mohammad Anisur Rahman, a marriage registrar said, "I have completed the marriage of Minni and Noyan Bond on October 10, 2018. Some friends of Nayon Bond took me to his house, where many people including Nayon's mother were present at that time.
Mohammad Anisur, called Minni's father after knowing that she is the niece of Abu Saleh, the then commissioner of Barguna municipality. Later, Minni's father Mozammel Hossain Kishore asked the marriage registrar to keep the marriage secret.
The day after Minni's second marriage to Rifat Sharif, Minni's father called the marriage registrar for divorce of Minni and Nayon Bond.
Rifat, on June 26 last year, was attacked near the main gate of Barguna Government College. Surveillance camera footage of the attack went viral which showed Minni apparently trying to save Rifat. However, Rifat succumbed to his injuries he sustained in the attack.
Twenty-four people were accused in the murder case filed by Rifat's father. Minni, initially named as a witness, was later arrested on July 16 last year and became the prime suspect of the case.
Minni was the key witness in the case, filed subsequently by Dulal, the victim's father.
The case took a different turn, as Dulal at a press conference accused Minni of being involved in the murder of his son. In response, she said that her father-in-law was being influenced by conspirators.
On July 16 last year, Minni was taken to the district police chief's office for questioning. After daylong interrogation at the chief's office, police arrested her for the alleged involvement in the murder, followed by a five days' remand granted by the court.
As no lawyer stood for the accused, the court allowed Minni to defend herself. Claiming her innocence, she told the court: "Rifat is my husband. I want justice for my husband. I'm not involved in his assassination. I have been a victim of conspiracy in this murder case."
However, during remand, Minni told police that the incident started after Rifat took away a cellphone of one of his friends. The victim sought prime accused Nayon Bond's help to get back his mobile phone and Nayon Bond approached Minni to this end.
Minni managed to return the cell phone. However, this led to an altercation between the couple where Rifat beat Minni at one stage. As Nayon Bond and another life term accused person, Rifat Farazi came to know about the incident, they planned to teach Rifat a lesson.
Nayon Bond, Rifat Faraji and some others hacked him with sharp weapons brutally.
Later, Minni rushed injured Rifat to hospital. He was shifted to Barishal Sher-E-Bangla Medical College Hospital (BSMCH) where doctors declared him dead.
According to the state prosecutor, "At one point, Minni got into trouble because of maintaining relation with the two, and Minni and Nayon plotted to kill Rifat. Minni took Rifat to college with the intention of killing him. Nayon then grabbed Rifat in front of him and at one point, when Nayon and his associates started beating, Minni acted to save him."
Sabbir Ahmed alias Nayon Bond, the main accused, was killed in an alleged gunfight with police on July 2.
Minni on July 18, 2019 confessed about her involvement in the killing of her husband Rifat Sharif.
After the verdict today, state prosecutor Mojibul Haque Kislu has said that the court, in its observation, termed Ayesha Siddiqa Minni as the mastermind of the sensational Rifat Sharif murder.
However, Minni's lawyer Mahbubul Bari Aslam said, "The verdict is very unexpected and unfortunate. State Prosecution could not place any evidence accusing Minni in the murder. Minni even tried to save Rifat and was injured as well in the attack. She also took Rifat to the hospital."
"We are not satisfied with the verdict. We will appeal to the High Court. We hope she will be acquitted from there," the lawyer added.