Try Khaleda for Aug 21 grenade attack on Hasina: Nojib Ahmed

Bangladesh ex-PM Khaleda Zia’s son sentenced to life in 2004 grenade attack case

Former state minister for home affairs Lutfozzaman Babar is the most prominent of those sentenced to hang.

Tarique Rahman, son of then-premier and Hasina's ally-turned-archrival Khaleda Zia, was among 49 people on trial, with Rahman charged with criminal conspiracy and multiple counts of murder.

Almost 4,000 security personnel were deployed in Dhaka ahead of the verdict.

Hundreds more were injured in the 21 August 2004 blast as Sheikh Hasina was about to finish a speech in front of thousands of supporters. "God knows everything. I was not behind it", he said.

Rahman, the BNP's senior vice president who lives in exile in London, and 18 others were given life imprisonment. Eighteen others were also sentenced to life imprisonment, and 11 received six months to two years in prison.

Four years later, Hasina stormed back to power after leading a secular coalition to a landslide victory in elections in December 2008.

Armed guards stood outside the courtroom in the old part of the capital on Wednesday to quell any protests, but the streets were calm. He was sentenced to jail 10 years ago in a corruption case while her mother Khaleda Zia was jailed for five years in the same corruption case as her son in February 2018.


Zia was convicted of embezzling about $250,000 in donations meant for an orphanage trust established when she first became prime minister in 1991.

The BNP said the conviction was "politically motivated" and the party does not "accept it".

However, the government is dissatisfied with the sentence and will appeal to the Supreme Court, seeking the death penalty for Rahman, Kazal added. Mr Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) had boycotted the 2014 election.

The government has denied the allegations. Its leader Sheikh Hasina is now prime minister.

Bangladeshi politics are deeply divided, with rivals Hasina and Zia, both from political dynasties, alternately ruling the country since 1991, when democracy was restored.

The party plans to challenge the court verdict, its lawyer, Sanaullah Mian, said.

"We are not happy with this judgment as we expected that all of them (BNP members) would get death sentences, especially Tarique", he said.

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