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Hang the killers: Supreme Court
The Supreme Court of Bangladesh on Thursday evening upheld the High Court verdict that confirmed death sentences of 12 retired and dismissed armymen in Bangabandhu Sheikh Mijubur Rahman assassination case.

The five-member bench comprising Justice Md Tafazzul Islam, Justice Md Abdul Aziz, Justice BK Das, Justice Md Muzammel Hossain and Justice SK Sinha delivered the verdict dismissing the appeals filed by five convicts against their death sentences in this case.

Lt Col (sacked) Syed Farooq-ur Rahman, Lt Col (retd) Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan, Lt Col (retd) Muhiuddin Ahmed, Lt Col (retd) AKM Mohiuddin Ahmed and Maj (retd) Bazlul Huda who are now behind bars, filed the appeals with the apex court in October 2007 against their convictions and death sentences by a lower court. Of the other seven condemned killers, Lt Col (retd) Md Abdul Aziz Pasha had died earlier.

The death sentences of Col (retd) Khandaker Abdur Rashid, Maj (retd) Shariful Haque Dalim, Lt Col (retd) AM Rashed Chowdhury, Lt Col (retd) SHMB Noor Chowdhury, Capt (retd) Abdul Mazed and Risaldar (retd) Moslemuddin delivered by the High Court will stand valid as they are absconding at present.

In his immediate reaction to the justice, chief counsel for the state Anisul Huq told The Daily Star, "The nation has got the justice."

Barrister Abdullah-al Mamun, counsel for convicts Bazlul Huda and AKM Mohiuddin, said they will submit a review petition with the Supreme Court within the stipulated 30 days after receiving the SC certified copy of the judgment.

The SC observed in the verdict that Justice M Fazlul Karim has properly delivered the verdict and this court cannot interfere in it.

The court said Justice Fazlul Karim has reviewed the matter of six accused as earlier two judges of the HC had expressed same opinion about the nine other accused, out of 15, in this case.

The apex court said that the trial court and the HC have properly explained the delay in filing the first information report (FIR) of this case.
The court of judges said the incidents of August 15, 1975 were a simple murder and it was not a result of mutiny.

Criminal conspiracy was committed to murder Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and this was not committed for any mutiny, it added.

The court further said there was no contradiction or anomaly in the evidence and the statements in this case. So, there is nothing to interfere in the HC verdict. And the HC verdict has been confirmed, the court said.

After hearing for 29 days the appeals, the special bench delivered the verdict.
Convicts Lt Col (sacked) Syed Farooq-ur Rahman, Lt Col (retd) Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan, Lt Col (retd) Muhiuddin Ahmed, Lt Col (retd) AKM Mohiuddin Ahmed, and Maj (retd) Bazlul Huda, who are now behind bars, filed the appeals with the apex court in October 2007 against their convictions and death sentences by a lower court.

Earlier on November 8, 1998, Dhaka Sessions Judge Golam Rasul handed down death sentences to 15 of the 20 defendants in the case.

The court gave the capital punishment to Lt Col (dismissed) Syed Farooq-ur Rahman, Lt Col (retd) Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan, Lt Col (retd) Muhiuddin Ahmed, Lt Col (retd) AKM Mahiuddin Ahmed, Maj (retd) Bazlul Huda, Lt Col (retd) Khandaker Abdur Rashid, Maj (retd) Shariful Haque Dalim, Maj (retd) Ahmed Shariful Hossain, Lt Col (retd) AM Rashed Chowdhury, Lt Col (retd) SHMB Noor Chowdhury, Lt Col (retd) Md Abdul Aziz Pasha, Capt (retd) Md Kismat Hashem, Capt (retd) Nazmul Hossain Ansar, Capt (retd) Abdul Mazed, and Risaldar (retd) Moslemuddin.

A division bench of the High Court comprising Justice Md Ruhul Amin and Justice ABM Khairul Haque on December 14, 2000, delivered split verdicts on death reference appeals in the case.

First judge Justice Md Ruhul Amin upheld the death sentences of 10 and acquitted five -- Muhiuddin Ahmed, Ahmed Shariful Hossain, Md Kismat Hashem, Nazmul Hossain Ansar, and Moslemuddin.

Second judge Justice ABM Khairul Haque upheld the death sentences of all 15 convicts.
On January 15, 2001, Justice Mohammad Fazlul Karim was appointed as the third judge to adjudicate the appeals.

He delivered the final High Court verdict in the case on April 30, 2001, affirming the convictions and death sentences of 12 of the 15 defendants. The three that he acquitted are Md Kismat Hashem, Ahmed Shariful Hossain, and Nazmul Hossain Ansar.

The deafening sound of gunshots broke the stillness of dawn on August 15, 1975 on road No 32 of Dhanmondi residential area. In less than an hour, the darkest chapter in the political history of Bangladesh was written on that fateful morning.

Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the following members of his family were assassinated in three separate attacks: his wife Begum Fazilatunnessa, sons Sheikh Kamal, Sheikh Jamal and nine-year-old Sheikh Russel, daughters-in-law Sultana Kamal, Parveen Jamal, Bangabandhu's brother Sheikh Naser, brother-in-law Abdur Rab Serniabat, 13-year-old Baby Serniabat, Serniabat's son Arif, four-year-old grand son Babu, a visiting nephew, three guests, four servants, Sheikh Fazlul Huq Moni, a nephew of Bangabandhu, his wife Begum Arju Moni, and Bangabandhu's security chief Colonel Jamil Uddin Ahmed.

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