Bangladesh court con­firms Is­lamic group leader death

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

NEW DELHI: Bangladesh’s Supreme Court yes­ter­day up­held death sen­tences for the leader of a banned Is­lamic group and two of his as­so­ci­ates found guilty in a 2004 grenade at­tack on a Bri­tish en­voy. De­fense lawyers rep­re­sent­ing Mufti Ab­dul Han­nan, head of the group Harkatul Ji­had, said they would ap­peal for a Supreme Court re­view of yes­ter­day’s rul­ing, though such re­views are rare.

Han­nan and the two oth­ers were found guilty in 2008 of or­ches­trat­ing a grenade at­tack against Bangladesh-born Bri­tish High Com­mis­sioner An­war Choud­hury while he was vis­it­ing a pop­u­lar Is­lamic shrine in the north­east­ern city of Syl­het in 2004. Choud­hury was un­harmed, but the at­tack killed three po­lice of­fi­cers and wounded 70 oth­ers. The trial court in 2008 sen­tenced two other as­so­ci­ates of Han­nan to life in prison in con­nec­tion with the at­tack. Han­nan took over lead­er­ship of Harkatul Ji­had in the late 1990s. The group, formed in 1992 by Bangladeshis re­turn­ing from fight­ing Soviet forces in Afghanistan, has been blamed for many other at­tacks in the Mus­lim-ma­jor­ity na­tion. Han­nan was also sen­tenced to death for an­other at­tack in 2001 that killed 10 peo­ple dur­ing a new year cel­e­bra­tion. He re­mains on trial in a 2004 grenade at­tack that killed 24 peo­ple which tar­geted Prime Min­is­ter Sheikh Hasina when she was the op­po­si­tion leader. Hasina es­caped in­jury. The group was banned by the gov­ern­ment in 2005.

—AP

DHAKA: At­tor­ney Gen­eral of Bangladesh, Mah­bubey Alam, cen­ter, walks out of the Supreme Court af­ter the hear­ing of a re­view pe­ti­tion re­lat­ing to the death sen­tence of Harkatul Ji­had leader, Mufti Ab­dul Han­nan.

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