Attack on ex-UK envoy: HC upholds death sentence for Huji leader

New Age Online

The High Court on Thursday upheld a trial court verdict sentencing banned group Huji’s leader Mufti Abdul Hannan and two of his associates to death for a 2004 grenade attack on a former British High Commissioner during his visit to Hazrat Shahjalal’s mazar in Sylhet.
A bench comprising Justice Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Amir Hossain came up with the decision by rejecting an appeal by Hannan against a 2008 verdict by a trial court in Sylhet that had also sentenced two others to life in prison.
The ex-UK envoy, Anwar Choudhury, was slightly wounded but three people died and 17 others were injured in the May 21 attack that took place after Friday (jumma) prayers. Sylhet is his ancestral home, reports United News of Bangladesh.
Huji or Harkat-ul Jihad-al-Islami has been banned in the country.
Investigators say the group had launched the attack to avenge the killings of Muslims in Iraq and other parts of the world at the hands of soldiers of the western nations, including Britain.
On February 3, the bench had fixed today (February 11) for delivering the verdict after hearing the death reference and petitions of the condemned convicts.
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam represented the state while lawyer AKM Fayez stood for the petitioners.
Two cases — one for murder and another under the Explosive Act– were filed in connection with the grenade attack.
In the murder case, the Divisional Speedy Trial Tribunal of Sylhet on December 23, 2008 awarded death sentence to Huji leaders Hannan, Sharif Shahedul Alam Bipul and Delwar Hossain Ripon.
Mufti Muhibur Rahman (Hannan’s brother) and Mufti Mainuddin were awarded life term, and fined Tk 10,000 each.
All five are behind bars, and Hannan has been convicted in other cases, including another grisly attack on Sheikh Hasina, then opposition leader in 2004, at Dhaka’s Bangabandhu Avenue during a rally. Some 24 Awami League leaders and activists were killed and hundreds of others were injured in the attack.

(Updated)

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