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Key points: Hoshi Kunio murder trial

  • Published at 01:28 pm February 28th, 2017
  • Last updated at 04:45 pm February 28th, 2017
Key points: Hoshi Kunio murder trial
Japanese citizen Hoshi Kunio, 65, who ran a grass farm at Kaunia in Rangpur, was shot dead by a group of New JMB militants in broad daylight near his house in Kachu Alutari area on October 3, 2015. Locals said three masked men riding a motorcycle had fired thrice at Kunio. -International terrorist group Islamic State claimed responsibility for the murder within hours – their second operation in five days. IS earlier took credit for killing Italian citizen Cesare Tavella in Dhaka’s Gulshan on September 28, 2015. -The government claims there is no presence of IS’ organisational base in Bangladesh, and maintains that a new faction of banned outfit Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), affiliated with the IS, was behind the series of targeted attacks. -Police filed a case the same night against three unidentified persons. -Law enforcers initially claimed that leaders and activists of the BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami had been involved in the murder, and arrested eight people, including local BNP leader Rashedunnabi Khan Biplab and Kunio’s business partner Hira. Biplab, Hira and three Jubo Dal leaders were also remanded in the case. -New JMB regional commander Masud Rana was arrested on December 9, 2015 and confessed that he had shot Kunio during the attack. -Another New JMB leader, military commander Eshak Ali, also confessed. -On July 2, 2016, police pressed charges against eight New JMB men and prayed to court to drop the names of eight people arrested earlier. -The charges were accepted on August 7. -The case was transferred from the District and Sessions Judge’s Court of Humayun Kabir to the Special Judge’s Court of Naresh Chandra Sarker in Rangpur on October 26 for quick trial. -The trial began with the indictment of the eight accused on November 15, 2016. Three accused remain fugitive. -Two of the three fugitives were killed in alleged gunfights with the police; Nazrul Islam alias Bike Hassan was killed on August 2 last year while key planner Saddam Hossain alias Rahul alias Sabuj alias Chanchal alias Robi died during another gunfight in Mohammadpur area on January 6. -Another accused, Begum Rokeya University student Ahsan Ullah Ansari Biplob, is still at large. -The trial ended on February 19 with the deposition of 55 prosecution witnesses and of another in favour of the accused. -A special court Tuesday sentenced five of the accused to death and acquitted another.
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