The High Court upheld the death sentence of four members of the banned organization Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) in the murder case of Japanese citizen Hoshi Kunio in Rangpur seven years ago. One accused was acquitted in the verdict.
Justice Md. on Wednesday. A bench consisting of Mostafizur Rahman and Justice SM Masud Hossain Dolan announced the verdict.
The convicts sentenced to death are JMB regional commander Masud Rana alias Mamun (21), member Liton Mia alias Rafiq (23), Sakhawat Hossain (32) and Ahsan Ullah Ansari alias Biplab (24). JMB member Ishahak Ali (25) was acquitted in the verdict.
Meanwhile, Ahsan Ullah is absconding. He was a third year student of statistics department of Begum Rokeya University, Rangpur. The remaining three accused Masood Rana, Ishaq and Liton are in jail.
On September 19, the same bench of the High Court fixed Wednesday (September 21) to announce the judgment after hearing the death reference (sanction of death sentence), appeal and jail appeal of the accused.
Additional Attorney General Sheikh Mohammad (SK) Morsed was the lawyer for the state in the court. He was assisted by Deputy Attorney General Bashir Ahmed, Deputy Attorney General Bashir Ahmed, Assistant Attorney General A Manna, Assistant Attorney General Zakir Hossain Masud and Assistant Attorney General Nirmal Kumar Das.
The lawyer was in the hearing for the accused. Ahsan Ullah and Md. Shamsul Islam. State-appointed lawyer on behalf of a fugitive defendant. Hafizur Rahman Khan conducted the hearing.
(Hearing begins) on the death reference and the appeal filed by the accused for upholding the death sentence of five JMB militants for the killing of Japanese national Hoshi Kunio in Rangpur on September 4. Following this, the hearing ended on September 19. After that, the court fixed the day to announce the verdict.
On February 28, 2017, special judge Naresh Chandra Sarkar of Rangpur announced the death sentence to five JMB militants for killing Japanese citizen Hoshi Kunio. Besides, each of those five people was fined 20,000 taka.
Then the death reference (document for approving the death sentence) is sent to the High Court. Besides, the accused appealed and jailed. After the paper book of the appeal is prepared, the hearing of the appeal starts when the bench is appointed. The hearing on the accused’s death reference, appeal and jail appeal concluded in eight working days.
Apart from this, two others out of the eight accused in the charge sheet were killed in the alleged gunfight, so the verdict was announced by excluding them from the charges in the case. Among them, Nazrul Islam alias Hasan alias Bike Hasan of Gajpuri area of Debiganj, Panchagarh was killed in Rajshahi on August 1 before the complaint was filed and Saddam Hossain alias Rahul alias Chanchal alias Sabuj alias Ravi of Char Vidyanand area of Rajarhat, Kurigram was killed in gunfight at Mohammadpur embankment in Dhaka after the complaint was filed. Besides, after receiving information about the involvement of another person named Vijay, the police could not identify him.
On August 7, 2016, the investigation officer of the case, Kaunia Police Station Officer-in-Charge (OC) Abdul Quader Jilani filed a charge sheet against the eight JMB militants in the court of Rangpur Senior Judicial Magistrate.
Later, when the case was transferred to the court of Special Judge Naresh Chandra Sarkar in Rangpur, on November 15, 2016, judicial proceedings were started by forming charges against seven accused. In the case, 55 people from the plaintiff side and one from the accused side were acquitted by the court.
Japanese citizen Hoshi Kunio came to Bangladesh on December 23, 2011. He used to cultivate good quality grass as fodder for cattle in Kachu Alutari village of Kaunia upazila of Rangpur. On October 3, 2015, 66-year-old Kunio was shot dead in Kachu Alutari village.