A BANGLADESH court ordered the arrest of 24 people and seizure of their assets yesterday after they failed to turn up to face murder charges over the collapse of the Rana Plaza garment factory in April 2013.
Senior judicial magistrate Mohammad al-Amin issued the warrants after his court accepted the murder charges against the 24.
More than 1,130 people, mostly women, died and about 2,500 others were injured in the sweat-shop factory collapse, one of the world’s worst industrial disasters.
“The court accepted the charge sheet against 41 people who have been charged with murder over the Rana Plaza disaster,” said prosecutor Anwarul Kabir.
“The court issued arrest warrants against 24 of them as they have absconded.
“It also ordered the seizure of their property.”
Mr Kabir said that the court had accepted the charges against four government factory and building inspectors despite attempts by their departments to shield them from prosecution by citing public-servant immunity rules.
Among the 41 who have been charged with murder is Sohel Rana, the owner of the nine-storey complex on the outskirts of Dhaka.
Mr Rana is in custody awaiting trial.
He became Bangladesh’s public enemy number one after survivors recounted how they were told to start work despite warnings about cracks developing in the walls of the building the previous day.
If convicted of murder, the defendants could face the death penalty.