Dhaka – Bangladeshi High Court has upheld the death penalty for 10 radical Islamists guilty of plotting an attempt on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s life at her ancestral home more than two decades ago, officials said on Wednesday.
The High Court bench of Justice Jahangir Hossain and Justice Md Badruzzaman passed the order as the convicts challenged the sentence handed down by a trial court in 2017, state counsel said.
The court also upheld the life in prison term given to another militant.
An Islamist radical group known as Harkat ul-Islam planted a 76 kg bomb at near the site of a meeting, where Prime Minister Hasina during her first tenure, in Kotalipara of Gopalganj district in 2000. The minesweepers, however, detected the explosives prior to the meeting and later unearthed the conspiracy to kill the premier.
After a lengthy investigation, the case went for trial and the Dhaka Speedy Trial Tribunal-2 passed the verdict on August 20, 2017 handing down death penalty to Washim Akhter alias Tareq Hossain, Md Rashed Driver, Sheikh Farid, Moulana Abdur Roub, Mawlana Abu Bakkar, M Yusuf alias Abu Musa Harun, Hafez Jahangir Alam Badar, Mufti Abdul Haye, Mufti Shafiqur Rahman and Hafez Mowlana Eahia.
Six of the 10 convicts, who are now detained in various jails, appealed challenging their convictions.
The HuJI chief Abdul Hannan, who was the mastermind of the plot, was also the accused in the case, but his name was dropped after he was hanged for his conviction in another terrorism charge.
The High Court upheld the life term of Mehedi Hasan, and yet another person convicted and sentenced for 14 years in jail. The latter’s jail term has been nearly at the end.
The court also acquitted a school teacher, Sarwar Hossain, who was earlier jailed for 14-year by the lower court, and ordered release of another convict Mohibullah Alias Mafizur Rahman, who was also sentenced to 14 years as he had completed the jail terms.