Bangladesh jails 29 soldiers over mutiny
A Bangladeshi special court handed jail terms on Wednesday to 29 border guards in the first of dozens of cases related to last year's bloody mutiny that left 74 people dead.world Updated: Apr 07, 2010 18:31 IST
A Bangladeshi special court handed jail terms on Wednesday to 29 border guards in the first of dozens of cases related to last year's bloody mutiny that left 74 people dead.
Fifty-seven senior army officers were killed in the 33-hour siege that began when soldiers at Bangladeshi Rifles (BDR) headquarters in Dhaka went on a killing spree, later hiding the bodies in sewers and shallow graves.
The 29 men were found guilty of minor charges relating to the mutiny and given jail sentences ranging from four months to seven years, the state prosecutor said.
"Of the 29, 13 were sentenced to seven years in jail," Mosharraf Hossain told AFP.
The handling of the crisis caused major tension between the newly elected civilian government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the military, which demanded all mutineers be tried by court martial.
The government compromised, offering to try about 3,500 BDR soldiers in military-run special courts for involvement in the mutiny. Defendants in these courts face a maximum penalty of seven years in prison.
Those alleged to be responsible for murder, looting and theft during the mutiny will be tried separately in the civil courts, where they could face the death penalty if found guilty.