HC upholds 139 BDR soldiers death penalty, 185 life-term for 2009 carnage


Dhaka, November 27: The High Court (HC) on Monday upheld death penalty for 139 paramilitary soldiers out of 152 for staging the barbaric 2009 carnage in the then Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) at their Pilkhaana headquarters in the heart of the capital.

Justice Nazrul Islam Talukder completed giving his observation in the case and left the presiding bench Justice Md Abu Zafor Siddique to deliver the final verdict, to be given around 2:30pm.

Besides, the HC upheld life-term imprisonment to 148 out of 160 and commuted their fines and acquitted some 12 convicts by lower court, including Awami League leader Torab Ali.

Apart from this, of the 256 convicts with different tenure, two got 13 years imprisonment, 182 got 10 years seven years imprisonment to eight while three years to four. Some 28 convicts didn’t file appeal and three convicts died earlier.

“One thirty nine (rebel BDR solider) will have to walk to gallows and 146 will be imprisoned for life,” attorney general Mahbubey Alam told a media briefing quoting the long verdict delivered by a three-judge High Court bench, according to a news agency.

The concerned trial court in its 2013 judgment originally sentenced 152 mutineers to death, one of them dying a natural death subsequently, while it handed down life term to 160.

Alam said the High Court commuted the death sentence of eight to life imprisonment and acquitted four of the charges.

The three-member High Court special bench concluded pronouncing the judgment at around 4.30 pm a day after it started pronouncing the the judgment.

The court also upheld life imprisonment for 146 out of the total 160 people, who were convicted by the third additional metropolitan sessions’ judge’s court on November 5, 2013.

The trial court had passed the judgment after examining 654 out of 1354 prosecution witnesses in the biggest criminal case in the history of the country.