Skip to main content

Bangladesh ex-politicians, army officers sentenced to death for smuggling arms

By Farid Ahmed, CNN
updated 7:29 AM EST, Thu January 30, 2014
Bangladesh ex-home minister Lutfozzaman Babar (center) waves in a court in Chittagong on January 30, 2014.
Bangladesh ex-home minister Lutfozzaman Babar (center) waves in a court in Chittagong on January 30, 2014.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Of the 52 people initially accused, 38 were acquitted
  • Police seized trucks of sophisticated arms and ammunition
  • Officials sentenced included the ex-director of army intelligence

Dhaka, Bangladesh (CNN) -- A Bangladeshi court Thursday sentenced 14 people to death for smuggling sophisticated arms and ammunition in a case that dates a decade ago.

A court in the southeast port city of Chittagong announced the verdict for the group that included two ex- ministers, former government officials and a top separatist movement leader in India's northeast state of Assam.

Police seized 10 trucks of sophisticated arms and ammunition in April 2004 while they were getting offloaded in a state-run factory supervised by the industry ministry.

They included 4,930 sophisticated firearms, 27,020 grenades and 840 rocket launchers, officials said.

Of the 52 people initially accused, 38 were acquitted.

Officials sentenced included the ex-director of army intelligence, Maj. Gen. Rezzakul Haider Chowdhury, and former national security intelligence director, Brig. Gen. Abdur Rahim.

Paresh Barua, a top leader of United Liberation Front of Assam, was also sentenced to death in absentia. So was former industry secretary, Nurul Amin.

Defense lawyers said they plan to appeal the verdict in a higher court.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 8:23 PM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
Wilson Raj Perumal tells CNN how he rigged World Cup games: "I was giving orders to the coach."
updated 3:03 AM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
Our whole solar system appears to be inside a searing gas bubble, scientists say.
updated 8:02 PM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
One journalist murdered, another still being held by ISIS -- a ransom negotiator talks to CNN about the delicate business of trying to get a hostage home alive.
updated 10:23 PM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
The accidental killing of a gun instructor raises an "absurd question," writes Mel Robbins.
updated 8:55 AM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
ISIS has made surprise gains in Iraq and Syria in recent months, but may begin to suffer setbacks on the battlefield.
updated 2:44 PM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
The fear of Russian invasion is receding but peace may still be tricky to find.
updated 8:28 AM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
Was a police officer justified in shooting and killing Michael Brown?
updated 4:15 AM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
Don't like the country you live in? Meet the people who created their own "micronations."
updated 5:57 PM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
The signs exist that indicate U.S. airstrikes into Syria are on the way.
updated 5:46 AM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
We asked you what you would like to know about Ebola. Experts answer some of your most common questions and concerns.
CNN joins the fight to end modern-day slavery by shining a spotlight on its horrors and highlighting success stories.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT