DHAKA, Bangladesh – A court in Bangladesh's capital on Thursday sentenced two Islamic militants to death for killing a Muslim convert to Christianity in northern Bangladesh, a prosecutor said.
Judge Nur Hossain found Hafez Mahmud and Mohammad Salauddin, both members of the banned Jumatul Mujahedeen Bangladesh group, guilty of killing Abdul Gani Gomes, public prosecutor Abdul Latif Talukder told reporters.
"I am happy with the verdict," Talukder said.
Both defendants had confessed to killing Gomes on orders of their group's leader, Shaikh Abdur Rahman, Taulkder said. They have 30 days to appeal the verdict to the country's High Court.
"I am happy that I have killed him," Salauddin told reporters when he came out of the court amid tight security.
Gomes, a chemist, was returning home from work when he was killed in September 2004 in Jamalpur district, 90 miles north of Dhaka, according to the verdict.
The banned group has been blamed for a string of bombings that has left at least 26 people dead and scores wounded since August 2005. The group's main targets were courts and government offices. The group wants to replace Muslim-majority Bangladesh's secular laws with harsh Islamic rules.
Earlier this year, the High Court confirmed the death sentence for seven senior members of the group, including its top leader Shaikh Abdur Rahman, his deputy Siddiqul Islam, for killing two judges in southern district of Jhalakathi.