Journalist murder case sees nine sentenced to life

Featured South East Asia - July 1st, 2013

A Bangladeshi court sentenced nine people to life in prison for the murder of a journalist who had published stories accusing the opposition of corruption.

Gautam Das, Faridpur bureau chief of the daily Samakal, was strangled to death in his office in November 2005.

He ran a series of news reports on the alleged involvement of several members of the then ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party in corruption and irregularities in the construction of a road in Faridpur, AFP reports.

Das’ colleague, M. Hasanuzzaman, filed a murder case accusing 10 people, although one died during the trial. The nine who were sentenced were involved with different organizations of the BNP, a prosecutor said.

The judge in his ruling said that although the killing was so heinous, the court did not get any evidence against the accused who strangled him, reports The Daily Star.

Samakal editor Golam Sarwar told journalists the daily would appeal the sentence and ask for the death penalty.

Local media hailed the outcome as a landmark verdict since it was the first time a court had successfully tried a murder case of a journalist.