The High Court on Wednesday upheld the death sentences of four members of the banned Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) for the 2015 murder of Japanese national Hoshi Kunio.
A division bench of justices Md Mostafizur Rahman and S M Masud Hossain Dolon upheld the trial court order after hearing the appeal petitions of the convicts.
However, the court acquitted another convict, Ishak Ali, for lack of evidence.
The four convicts are JMB regional commander Masud Rana alias Mamun, 21, Liton Mia alias Rafique, 23, Shakhawat Hossain, 32, and Ahsan Ullah Ansari alias Biplob, 24.
Of them, Ahsan Ullah, a student of Rangpur Begum Rokeya University, was tried in absentia.
Additional attorney general Sheikh Mohammad Morshed appeared for the state while advocate Ahsan Ullah, Shamsul Islam represented the convicts in the High Court.
On February 28, 2017, Rangpur special judge Naresh Chandra Sarkar sentenced the five JMB men to death in connection with the murder of the Japanese national. They were also fined Tk 20,000 each.
Later, the convicts filed appeal petitions before the High Court against the trial court judgment.
On July 10, 2016, police pressed charges against seven members of the banned JMB in connection with the murder.
Of the charge-sheeted accused, Nazrul Islam alias Hassan alias Bike Hassan of Panchagarh district and Saddam Hossain alias Rahul alias Chanchal alias Sabuj alias Robi of Rajshahi district died in separate "gunfights" in Rajshahi and Dhaka’s Mohammadpur area, respectively in 2016.
Kunio, 65, was gunned down by assailants near his farmhouse at Kachu Alutary in Kaunia upazila on October 3 in 2015.