The then state minister for home affairs Lutfuzzaman Babar and deputy minister for education Abdus Salam Pintu were among 20 persons who were awarded death penalty for their involvement with the August 21 grenade attack on an Awami League rally in the capital in 2004.
Judge Shahed Nuruddin of the Speedy Trial Tribunal-1 at Old Dhaka’s Nazimuddin Road announced the verdict on Wednesday (October 10) noon.
A prosecution witness said the conspiracy behind the 2004 attack was hatched at Tarique Rahman’s political office Hawa Bhaban and his party`s the then deputy minister Abdus Salam Pintu’s official residence.
Earlier on September 18, the tribunal fixed October 10 to pronounce its verdict in two cases- one for murder and the other for grenade blast- after both the prosecution and the defense completed their arguments.
Closing their arguments, the prosecution sought the highest punishment to all the accused, including Tarique, saying they were able to prove all the charges beyond reasonable doubt.
They also said Tarique masterminded the attack and helped militants in order to kill Sheikh Hasina by throwing the grenades to make Awami League leaderless.
But the defence lawyers sought acquittal of their clients as they said the prosecution failed to present substantial evidence to prove the charges.
They also claimed that Tarique, who has been staying in London since 2008, was implicated in the cases with a political motive.