Bangladesh court sentences 59 border guards

Dhaka: A Bangladeshi court has sentenced 59 border guards to up to six years rigorous imprisonment for their involvement in the 2009 bloody mutiny which left 74 people, mostly military officers, dead.

The paramilitary court in southwestern Khulna handed down sentences ranging between four months and six years, to the rebel soldiers of Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), now called Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), on mutiny charges.

The Special Court-12 of BGB headed by its Rajshahi Sector Commander Colonel M Ehia Azam Khan pronounced the verdict trying the accused under the BDR Act at a makeshift courtroom at sector headquarters of the frontier force.

The court also fined each of the convicts Taka 100 as it found them guilty of charges of February 25-26, 2009 mutiny when 74 people including 57 army officers serving the paramilitary frontier force were killed at its Pilkhana headquarters in Dhaka.

The judgement came as the court earlier recorded depositions of all 36 witnesses while the trial began with indictment of the 59 accused on October 25, when 10 of them confessed their offences.

Of the convicts 11 were handed down six years of imprisonment under the BDR Act, which prescribed the highest seven years of jail terms.