(Nov. 17, 2009) An appellate division bench of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh is currently hearing appeals from the death sentences of persons convicted for involvement in the assassination of the founding father of Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Mujibur Rahman was assassinated, along with most of his family members, on August 15, 1975. A case was filed on October 2, 1996, 21 years after the incident. On November 8, 1998, a trial court ordered death sentences for 15 retired and dismissed army personnel for the multiple murders. The High Court upheld the punishment for 12 out of the 15. However, only five of the convicted were placed behind bars, one died, and the rest are still at large. A hearing in an appeal of the convictions of some of the convicted persons, originally scheduled for August 16, 2001, was postponed eight times due to a shortage of judges in the appellate division before finally being dropped from the division's docket on March 19, 2002. (Bangabandhu Murder Case Hearing Resumes Today After 6 Years, DAILY STAR, Aug. 7, 2007, available at http://www.thedailystar.net/2007/08/07/d7080701033.htm.)
The current Prime Minister of Bangladesh, the eldest daughter of Mujibur Rahman, has appointed two new judges to the appellate division of the Court, which will permit the case to proceed. The Supreme Court panel resumed hearings on the case on October 5, 2009. After the defense attorneys conclude their arguments, the prosecution will present its statements. (SC Resumes Hearing of Arguments in Mujib Murder Case, BANGLADESH NEWS, Nov. 1, 2009, available at