Dhaka: A Bangladeshi court on Tuesday handed down death penalty to 167 former paramilitary soldiers after convicting them guilty of killing 74 people, including 57 army officers, during a mutiny in 2009.
"They will be hanged by neck until they are dead," ruled Judge Mohammad Akhtaruzzaman of the Third Additional Metropolitan Sessions Court, in what is being dubbed as the world's biggest ever criminal trial.
"The atrocities were so heinous that even the dead bodies were not given their rights," Judge Akhtaruzzaman told the packed court in the capital Dhaka.
Of 846 accused, 26 being civilians, the court handed down life imprisonments to 158 rebel soldiers and three to 10 years of imprisonment to 251 others and acquitted 242 finding their no involvement in the carnage.
Former lawmaker of main opposition BNP Nasiruddin Ahmed Pintu and Awami League leader and ex-BDR soldier Torab Ali were awarded life sentence.