Death for 5 in Bangladesh for murder of Japanese

Dhaka, Feb 28 (IANS) A Bangladesh court on Tuesday sentenced five members of an extremist group to death for killing a Japanese national in 2015.

Japanese national Hoshi Kunio, 65, was shot dead near his farm in Rangpur district on October 3, 2015. One year later, authorities charged eight people belonging to the Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) group — one of whom was later acquitted and two others were killed in police clashes.

“The court sentenced five accused to death as the prosecution could successfully prove the allegation against them,” Special Public Prosecutor Abdul Malek told Efe news.

Malek said the two deceased accused were killed in clashes with police in August 2016 and January.

Following the sentencing, defence lawyer Abul Hossin said he will appeal against it in the high court.

Between 2013 and 2016, more than 70 people — mainly bloggers, intellectuals, foreigners and members of religious minorities in Bangladesh — were killed in a series of attacks triggering alarm in a Muslim country that has historically been moderate and for the most part removed from extremism.

However, the most gruesome incident was the attack on a restaurant in Dhaka in June 2016 in which 22 people, mostly foreigners, were killed.

The Islamic State and Al Qaeda claimed responsibility for some of the attacks.