Court sentences 39 to death for killing official in Bangladesh

DHAKA — A Bangladesh court on Tuesday sentenced dozens of men to death for the brazen daylight murder of a ruling party official in 2014, officials said.

Ekramul Haque, the then Awami League leader in eastern Feni district, was dragged from his vehicle by a mob and hacked with machetes before being shot at point blank range.

The 47-year-old was then placed back inside his vehicle, which was torched. A number of those travelling with the local party leader were injured in the brutal assault.

Court inspector Nojibul Islam said that a judge in Feni district on Tuesday sentenced 39 men to death by hanging for the crime. Sixteen others were acquitted.

“We will go to appeal in the higher court against the order,” said defense lawyer Rana Das Gupta.

Bangladesh has a history of delivering death sentences in mass trials.

In November, a court upheld death sentences against 139 soldiers for the grisly murders of dozens of senior army officers in a 2009 mutiny.

Last August, 10 militants were sentenced to death over a failed plot to assassinate Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina by detonating a bomb at one of her rallies.