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SC commutes JMB man's death penalty

A JMB operative's death sentence was yesterday commuted to jail until death in a case over the 2005 bomb attack on a Sylhet judge.

A four-member bench of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court delivered the verdict after hearing an appeal filed by Akhtaruzzaman, a member of the banned militant outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh.

Defence lawyer Delwar Hossain told The Daily Star that the SC commuted the capital punishment of his client, considering that he was only 19 when he committed the crime. 

Akhtaruzzaman made the attack on the then Sylhet Divisional Speedy Trial Tribunal judge Biplob Goswami in front of his Kumarpara residence in Sylhet on October 18, 2005. The judge suffered injuries at the time.

Pedestrians caught the JMB man immediately after he hurled a bomb and they handed him over to police.

Abdus Salam, chauffeur of judge Biplob, filed the case the following day with Sylhet Kotwali Police Station under the Explosive Substances Act.

In February 2006, the Sylhet District and Sessions Judge's Court sentenced Akhtaruzzaman to death for the attack.

The court, however, acquitted four other accused -- Obaidullah alias Obaidur, Moulana Saifuddin, Moulana Jamaluddin and Habibur Rahman.

The High Court in 2013 upheld the Sylhet court's verdict.