Death Penalty to Five Islamist Militants in Kunio Hoshi Killing

MNA Editorial Desk: Death penalty was awarded to five Islamist militants in the 2015 brutal killing of a Japanese national, Kunio Hoshi. A Bangladeshi Court today provided this verdict.

Masked assailants riding motorcycles shot 66-year old Kunio Hoshi several times on the morning of Oct 3, 2015 when he was heading to his farm in the country’s northern district of Rangpur. The victim died on the spot. The killing was similar to that of Italian aid worker Cesare Tavella in capital city Dhaka a week earlier.

kunioSeveral attacks on the foreigners spread terror to the foreign nationals working in Bangladesh and those incidents hit the international news headlines at that time.

The Islamic State (IS) had reportedly claimed responsibility for the attacks, but the government discarded it mentioning the radical group had no presence in Bangladesh.

After investigations of several months, six operatives of locally banned Islamist outfit the Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) was accused for the killing.

Investigations revealed that the JMB was actually behind the assassination. The militant group gained disrepute in 2005 after orchestrating a string of simultaneous explosions in 63 districts of.

kunioPolice submitted the charge sheet in the court against eight JMB operatives in July last year, but two names had been dropped after they were killed in what law-enforcers claimed to be a ‘shootout’. The trials began in November after the court indicted the six.

Kunio’s assassination was aimed to destabilize the country and hurt the economy as the court observed during the trial.

A special judge’s court in Rangpur convicted five for the killing on Tuesday. The court also acquitted another as the charges against him could not be proven beyond doubt.

The banned group’s Rangpur Region chief Masud Rana alias Mamun, Ishaque Ali, Liton Mia alias Rafik, Shakhawat Hossain and Ahsanullah Ansari alias Biplob were sentenced to death penalty and acquitted the Abu Sayeed. All of them are in police custody except Ansari.

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