Bangladesh Court Sentences Opposition Leader, 13 Others to Death

Over a decade-old arms smuggling case


A Bangladesh court sentenced the head of an opposition Islamist party to death Thursday along with 13 others in connection with an arms smuggling case a decade ago.

A special tribunal in the southeastern port city of Chittagong imposed the death penalty on Matiur Rahman Nizami, the head of the Jamaat-e-Islami party.

The court also convicted Lutfozzaman Babar, a former home minister and a leader of the country's main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, which is allied with Jamaat.

The charges against them stem from a case dating back to April 2004 in which a shipment of arms was discovered after being unloaded from a ship at a jetty belonging to a state-owned fertilizer company.