Bangladesh upholds 2013 death sentence for 139 soldiers for mutiny: prosecutor | World

Bangladeshis gather beside tanks manned by army soldiers near the Bangladesh Rifles headquarters in Dhaka on February 26, 2009. Photo: AFP

DHAKA: A Bangladesh court on Monday upheld death sentences for 139 soldiers over the massacre of 74 people including 57 senior army officers during a 2009 mutiny, the attorney general said.

“The verdict has upheld the death sentence for 139 people,” Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told reporters after the High Court handed down its judgement in Dhaka.

“Nowhere in the world did anything happen like the way those 57 top army officers were killed,” Alam said.

The sentences will be appealed again in the Supreme Court, which by law has the final say in all capital punishment cases.

In 2013 a court sentenced 152 soldiers to death for the grisly killings in which dozens of officers were shot, hacked to death or burnt alive before being dumped in sewers or shallow graves.

One of those handed the death penalty died in custody, eight others had sentences commuted to life imprisonment and four were acquitted, Alam said.

The sentences were condemned at the time by the UN rights chief, who expressed alarm at such a heavy punishment meted out in a mass trial.

The mutineers stole thousands of weapons in February 2009 before going on a two-day killing spree at a barracks.

Bangladesh has a history of military coups and the massacre threatened the newly-elected government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, which responded by arresting thousands of suspects.

News Reporter

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