Bangladesh court sentences JI leader to death

Published: January 30, 2014
Motiur Rahman Nizami PHOTO: REUTERS

Motiur Rahman Nizami PHOTO: REUTERS

CHITTAGONG: A Bangladesh court on Thursday sentenced 14 people to death, including the leader of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), over a massive arms smuggling racket ten years ago.

JI leader Motiur Rahman Nizami, 70, was sentenced to hang after being convicted over the racket involving 10 truckloads of arms seized by police at a Bangladesh port.

“The judge sentenced 14 people including …. Motiur Rahman Nizami, to death on smuggling charges,” prosecutor Kamal Uddin Ahmed told AFP from the southern port city of Chittagong.

“We’re satisfied with the verdict. This is an unprecedented case and all those accused have got due justice,” Ahmed said.

Prosecutors said Nizami, who was industries minister at the time, helped unload the weapons that included 4,930 sophisticated firearms, 27,020 grenades and 840 rocket launchers in April 2004.

Nizami, in custody since 2010, was among 50 people charged with smuggling and other offences over the weapons that were meant to be moved across the border to a rebel group in northeastern India.

Ex-home minister Lutfozzaman Babar and the former chiefs of the country’s two main intelligence agencies were also among the 14 who were sentenced to death on Thursday over the racket.

A leader of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA), Paresh Baruah, was also sentenced to death in absentia over the racket, which was meant to help the group’s separatist struggle. Baruah has long been on the run.

The judge confirmed in his verdict “that the massive arms were meant to be smuggled across the border to ULFA,” Ahmed said.

Security was tight in Chittagong for the judge’s long-awaited verdict following a year-long trial.

Extra police and elite Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) officers were deployed in key areas as a precaution, amid concerns activists from the Jamaat-e-Islami party could take to the streets to protest the decision.

Nizami was a minister in the government of Khaleda Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party which was allied with Jamaat.

The parties were thrown out of power after suffering a massive defeat in December 2008 elections.

The secular Awami League-led government, which retained power after the January 5 elections, has pursued the arrests of the alleged major figures in the case since coming to power.

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Reader Comments (58)

  • Tinku
    Jan 30, 2014 - 1:37PM

    Wish we could borrow services of Bangladesh Judges for few months. Lot of mess to be cleared here as well but judiciary is busy in important tasks, Musharraf, PTV MD, Cricket board MD etc. all need justice….


  • Hmm
    Jan 30, 2014 - 1:49PM

    Bangla Government has done a good job , but could their intelligence tell where did these arms come from ? Such a huge amount of arms can only be transported by acknowledgement of a country . At least India should thank this gov for its commendable job and award something.


  • Uza Syed
    Jan 30, 2014 - 1:50PM

    Good, let this be a warning and a lesson for all those who use religion for political purpose and incite people to kill, in the name of religion, those who think different. I’m all for it, Bangladesh is doing a great service to humanity and religion. Religion is never meant to be an instrument of mass murder anywhere including Muslim world.


  • AK47
    Jan 30, 2014 - 2:37PM

    Good jobRecommend

  • Ali
    Jan 30, 2014 - 2:39PM

    Potent Bangladeshi Courts. Bravo.Recommend

  • MAD
    Jan 30, 2014 - 3:16PM

    Here we go again.


  • powvow
    Jan 30, 2014 - 3:19PM

    Way to go Bangladesh…


  • Last Word
    Jan 30, 2014 - 3:27PM

    Congratulations to Bangladesh judicial system for bringing high profile figures to book irrespective of their religious and political affiliations. Pakistan needs to learn a lot from its former younger brother who is beating it on all fields except cricket.


  • Asad Shairani
    Jan 30, 2014 - 3:33PM

    Interesting how our people (both liberals and rightists) abandon their beliefs when it suits them. Jamaatis are okay with their leaders who were involved in genocide in 1971 (yet are accusing the army of the same now), and the liberals are okay with sham courts and death penalties.


  • akash
    Jan 30, 2014 - 3:36PM

    Thats how decisions of judges speak for justice itself, in land of pure judges speak through remarks with shameful sponsorship of media group on u scratch my back and I scratch your back basis.


  • max
    Jan 30, 2014 - 3:40PM

    2 years down Bangla is going to be new Syria or Waziristan… Let’s all hold their jubilations for another year or so till this turns violent


  • Shabir
    Jan 30, 2014 - 4:18PM

    Revenge against its own people will lead Bangladesh no where and their economy will weaken. I feel we are much better as a democratic country when I look at countries like Bangladesh and Egypt.


  • lalai
    Jan 30, 2014 - 4:26PM

    I wonder why it isn’t happening in Pakistan?


  • Rohan
    Jan 30, 2014 - 4:26PM

    This mass murderer deserve this penality.Good work by bangladesh government and judiciary.


  • Inam
    Jan 30, 2014 - 4:30PM

    What other than this can be expected from Kangroo Courts!Recommend

  • Truth_Seeker
    Jan 30, 2014 - 4:43PM

    The truth will always out. This man is accused of crimes against humanity.


  • Shaikh Mohommad
    Jan 30, 2014 - 4:56PM

    You mean Kangaroo court?


  • Ammar
    Jan 30, 2014 - 5:15PM


    Another Muslim country on verge of collapse. I thought that They had successfully burried the old hatchet but No…they want themselves to be destroyed on demand of their Foriegn Bosses…


  • kamran
    Jan 30, 2014 - 5:53PM

    Looks like Bangladesh has wisely studied what has happened to Pakistan, and is trying to prevent such a situation in its own country.


  • jamal
    Jan 30, 2014 - 5:54PM

    max, Bangladesh is doing this to prevent itself from becoming Syria or Waziriastan. Pakistan, meanwhile, is already there.


  • Umer
    Jan 30, 2014 - 6:13PM

    @Shaikh Mohommad:

    You mean Kangaroo court?

    Is it Kangroo because you don’t like the decision?


  • yaser
    Jan 30, 2014 - 6:20PM

    This all is a part of dirty scheme played by Indian government to hold back Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and people that are in support of Pakistani influence. Awami League has always been a against Pakistan since they are controlled and funded by India. Sooner we will see Bangladesh as state of India.


  • Saadi Ahmed
    Jan 30, 2014 - 6:39PM

    Whom are capital punishment they deserved it. .They were strongly involved in this case..moreover bangladeshi ppl are not fanatics like others so that no chance for loose the track..just bit need to clean some sort of fanatical so called islamic party like JI..


  • Shariq
    Jan 30, 2014 - 6:39PM

    Good stuff, pk govt should consult judiciary in Bangladesh for impotency treatment of pk judiciary.


  • Kiran
    Jan 30, 2014 - 6:49PM

    On which point your country is better than bangladesh other than in cricket, my dear ?


  • Shan
    Jan 30, 2014 - 6:52PM

    Our courts should have to learn a lot of things from bangladesh.We already under destructive path and not be like another somalia !


  • Isloo. One
    Jan 30, 2014 - 7:00PM

    There is life after death. This life is transient, short lived and temporary. The life after death is eternal and should be more important. Recommend

  • Isloo. One
    Jan 30, 2014 - 7:04PM

    Pakistan GDP is at-least twice the size of Bangladesh, its land mass is four times larger than Bangladesh. Here is the catch.


  • Abbas
    Jan 30, 2014 - 7:16PM


    I am from Pakistan, I am not sure that Pakistan is better than BD in cricket as well! in cricket playing skills definately yes, but the spread of sports, its organization and infrastructure probably not. Performing at international level is just one aspect of sport and it is not the major one, more important is its role in building healthy individuals and society.

    I am in no way suggesting that I don’t like or love my country, just being honest to recognize the short comings so something can be done to improve it. Besides it should not be the standard of satisfaction that the other is worse off then us so we are good. That is true both for us and you. Sincerely.Recommend

  • goggi (Lahore)
    Jan 30, 2014 - 7:18PM

    @lalai: I wonder why it isn’t happening in Pakistan?…………………….

    unlike former East Pakistan now Bangla-Desh……..Pakistan clinches to a rootless name and sings the national anthem in a foreign language.Recommend

  • bilal
    Jan 30, 2014 - 7:25PM

    Bangladesh has its priorities down very well, I must say.Recommend

  • usman786
    Jan 30, 2014 - 7:28PM

    these supported Pakistanis in 71s. Pl give them asylum atleastRecommend

  • Lalit
    Jan 30, 2014 - 7:33PM

    Another Muslim country on verge of collapse. I thought that They had successfully burried the old hatchet but No…they want themselves to be destroyed on demand of their Foriegn Boss
    which part of this judicial process do you feel,indicates their subservience to their so called foreign you really feel that handing over death penalty to a proven terrorist supporter by judiciary is a facade.then what should have been done with these gentlemen.public felicitation ?yes as an Indian I am happy that facilitators of terrorist groups operating in India are pin pointed and being neutralized. in fact i am grinning right now. Recommend

  • Jan 30, 2014 - 7:58PM

    Pakistanis should keep out of Bangladeshis internal affairs – we have enough problems to sort out in Pakistan rather than jumping into bed with defending Mullahs in others nationsRecommend

  • Zalmai
    Jan 30, 2014 - 8:13PM

    Bangladesh is a trailblazer and a pioneer in purging its country of evil men that are disguised as men of faith and letters. Recommend

  • assad
    Jan 30, 2014 - 8:15PM

    This is a boomerang in the making. All the jubilation will go down the drain when the real “militancy” raises its head in BD. The one-sided trials and with a prevailing sense/perception that these are being done to please India can only have a negative outcome.Recommend

  • Azmat Khan
    Jan 30, 2014 - 8:22PM

    JI and arms smuggling, very strange.Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    Jan 30, 2014 - 8:32PM

    Death instead of life is the option choosen by the Bangla Desh Government. This is what they will have, say the scriptures.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Rex Minor
    Jan 30, 2014 - 8:56PM

    @Azmat Khan:

    This is just a spin! The largest weapon peddler is the USA; none of them are regarded as Gun smuggling. It is not the guns which kill but the humans who use them! What right the Government has to pronounce ‘Death’ as the punishment. What in Europe has been achieved after millions of dead can also be copied by others if the UNO follow God’s commandment to Moses! Even the USA practices capital punishment, though proudly depicts Moses with a book on the Supreme Court building.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Jamal
    Jan 30, 2014 - 8:59PM

    These Jumatis are so obsessed with Pakistan that even he dressed up like Qazi Hussain Ahmed. Recommend

  • Yousufzai
    Jan 30, 2014 - 9:10PM

    Bangladesh is at brink of destruction. Hasina is not better than Sisi or Assad. Recommend

  • Analyst
    Jan 30, 2014 - 9:34PM

    People like you are the reason Pakistan is in a free fall Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    Jan 30, 2014 - 10:14PM


    You said it! She should improve the country ‘s relation with Indian Government, instead of persecuting her own people for vengence, who have constructed a security wall along the coastal area blocking the escape of fishers communities whch is forecast to annhilate 190 million people when the floods arrive due to the melt down of the Himalaya glassiers, say the climate experts.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Zen
    Jan 30, 2014 - 11:13PM

    Well done Bangladesh. To the Pakistanis, what not flaours them that country is sliding to doom, forgetting the implosion they are going through.Recommend

  • Sandip
    Jan 30, 2014 - 11:18PM

    @max: Nothing of the sort will happen so long as Bangladesh Navy and Indian Navy are able to destroy any arms sent from erstwhile occupiers of Bangladesh to their toadies. The days of using Bangladesh as arms conduit to India and trying to convert it to another Afghanistan are over.Recommend

  • Spock
    Jan 30, 2014 - 11:55PM

    Sentencing some one for crimes like smuggling of mass murder weapons is not right for you?

    Religion is not involved in this except the fact that the accused is a head of a religious party. If anything he should be blamed for bringing religion in to his illegal activities.


  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Jan 31, 2014 - 12:28AM

    I don’t think BD will become another Syria, Pakistan or Afghanistan. Here are few points for consideration.
    1. The majority of BD Muslims follow Sufi Islam.
    2. Extremists are less than 10%.
    3. Minorities are more than 20%.
    4. Neighbour’s of BD are very friendly.
    5. World powers have no interest in BD.
    6. Nationalist forces are very strong.
    7. BD people have no race or language issues.


  • Jan 31, 2014 - 12:40AM I seen above all comments, everyone is patriotic to own country. . Just what I believe, if any countries fail to establish justice and brotherhood never gonna be bangladeshi, I feel indian subcontinent could be United like European union which is we have all potential. .just ethical conflict and fanaticism destroying us..we should over come it..straightway, banned all religious so called party. .islam never been spread by swords or extremism. .love and peace is Islam as well as respect other believers . banned jamat islam in subcontinent. They are main culprit. .


  • Jan 31, 2014 - 4:01AM

    Even the western countries have objected the way courts in BD are working and doing injustice in the name of justice.These are in fact kangaroo courts.which do not believe in fair play and principles.It is really unfortunate that in most Muslim countries political revenge is a common practice.butthe time will change and evil forces will reap what they are sowing today.


  • Syed Faisal
    Jan 31, 2014 - 6:29AM

    Bangladeshi government is unconstitutional , fascist , trying to execute islam loving people.


  • a&a
    Jan 31, 2014 - 8:06AM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:
    Number 7 should be on the top……


  • Gurion
    Jan 31, 2014 - 9:13AM


    Revenge against its own people will
    lead Bangladesh no where and their
    economy will weaken

    And look how all the compassion Pak showed towards “its own people” made it so peaceful, prosperous and strong!!


  • Last Word
    Jan 31, 2014 - 10:14AM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:
    A logical analysis and in addition the state has not allowed the fanatic groups to gain upper hand in BD.


  • Uza Syed
    Jan 31, 2014 - 3:45PM

    @Syed Faisal: BD might be all what you allege it to be. However, the people of BD would thank their government for doing this one really great job, it’s imperative for any country if it wishes to provide peace & harmony & chance to pursue their dreams equally then these sop called Islamists must be forced out from playing politics and promote terrorism in the name of Islam. Government of BD must be commended by all peace loving Muslims and their government all over to show the way to rid such extremists from any free society.Recommend

  • Feb 1, 2014 - 5:41PM

    @Last Word: Dear even India has to learn a lot. Hats off to Bangladesh who has boldly demonstrated the will to withstand the hate mongers who trade religion for personal gains. Recommend

  • Feb 1, 2014 - 5:47PM

    @Syed Faisal: These are not Islam loving people. These are the people who use religion for their personal gain and bring bad name to Islam by committing inhuman deeds.


  • Feb 1, 2014 - 5:52PM

    @yaser: Another conspiracy theory master who finds India every where.


    Feb 1, 2014 - 9:16PM

    First and foremost it is Bangladesh’s internal affair.Secondly, Pakistan should even their scores with India themselves. Why use Bangladesh land and people for that? Bangladesh should never allow this to happen. Recommend

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