16 June, Bangladesh
DHAKA (AFP) – A Bangladesh court on Monday delayed its verdict against a group of Islamic militants accused of carrying out a 2001 bomb attack on the main Bengali New Year celebrations which killed 10 people.
Nine of the 14 accused were in the dock amid tight security at the court in the capital Dhaka when Judge Ruhul Amin announced he would now hand down his verdict next Monday, June 23, saying he “needed more time”.
Prosecutors accuse the Islamists, including the head of the outlawed Harkat-ul-Jihad al Islami (HuJI) outfit, of targeting the popular secular celebrations in Dhaka’s main park which they deemed offensive to Islam.
However defence lawyers say the accused only admitted to the attacks after confessions were forced them during police interrogation.