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Bangladesh Supreme Court Upholds Death Sentences for Coup Leaders


Bangladesh's Supreme Court has upheld death sentences for five former army officers convicted of killing the nation's independence leader in 1975.

The high court dismissed the appeal for a review of the death sentences Wednesday, removing the last legal barrier for the executions. Lawyers say the five men are likely to be executed in three or four weeks.

The men were convicted of killing Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who led the independence struggle that resulted in the creation of Bangladesh in 1971, following a war with Pakistan. He was later gunned down in an army coup, along with his wife and three sons. The coup leaders escaped justice for 25 years because the military rulers who governed Bangladesh after Mujibur Rahman's murder granted them indemnity.

The high-profile trial has now concluded under the government of the assassinated leader's daughter, Sheikh Hasina. She returned to power last year as prime minister for a second term.

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