4 JMB men sentenced to death for killing Humayun Azad
A Dhaka court today sentenced four members of the banned militant group Jama'atul Mujaheedin Bangladesh (JMB) to death in a case filed over the killing of Prof Humayun Azad in February 2004.
The convicts are: Salehin alias Salahuddin, Anwarul Alam alias Anwar and Mizanur Rahman alias Minhaz and Nur Mohammad. Among them, Salehin and Nur are on the run.
Judge Al Mamun of Dhaka's Fourth Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court handed down the sentence in presence of two of the convicts at a packed courtroom.
In the verdict, the judge said the prosecution was undoubtedly able to prove the charges brought against the accused and they were given the highest punishment for their heinous offences.
The punishment of the fugitives will be effective from the day of their arrest or surrender.
Ahead of the judgment, additional police forces were deployed around the court premises to avoid any untoward incidents.
Earlier the prosecution and the defence completed their arguments and the court recorded statements of 42 prosecution witnesses, including complainant of the case.
On February 27, 2004, JMB activists stabbed 56-year-old Prof Azad when he was trying to hail a rickshaw to go home from Ekushey Book Fair at Bangla Academy in the capital.
After the attack, Azad was treated at the Combined Military Hospital for 26 days.
The government then sent him to Bangkok, Thailand for better treatment and he returned home after over 47 days.
A day after the murder attempt, Azad's brother Manjur Kabir filed an attempt to murder case with Ramna Police Station against some unnamed people.
Azad, a professor of Dhaka University's Bangla department, died from what an autopsy said was a heart attack in Munich, Germany on August 12, 2004.
The case later turned into a murder case following his death.
The court framed charges against four accused on September 10, 2012.
Three years after the incident, CID Inspector Kazi Abdul Malek submitted a charge-sheet accusing five people on November 14, 2007.
On October 20, 2009, a Dhaka court ordered further investigation into the case following a petition filed by Prof Azad's brother Manjur Kabir.
After a reinvestigation, CID submitted a fresh charge-sheet accusing five JMB leaders and appealed to the court to turn the case into a murder case on April 30, 2012.
Of them, Hafiz and Nur Mohammad were killed in gun fights with law enforces after they fled from a prison van.
During the investigation, Minhaj and Nur gave confessional statements before magistrates.