Bangladesh Supreme Court today upheld the death sentence of banned Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami's former leader and two of his accomplices for a grenade attack in 2004 on Britain's then envoy here. HuJI leader Mufti Hannan lost the legal battle to save himself from the charges of an attempt on life of the former UK envoy to Bangladesh, bdnews reported. An Appellate Division bench led by the chief justice scrapped petitions by Hannan and two others for a review of the verdict. The order means that Hannan and his associates Sharif Shahedul Alam and Delwar Hossain can now be executed. With the review pleas being rejected by the top court, they are left with the only option of seeking presidential clemency by admitting guilt. If they do not go for it or the president rejects their plea, the government will go ahead with their executions. In May 2004, then British High Commissioner Anwar Choudhury came under a grenade attack while coming out of the Hazrat Shahjalal's shrine in his hometown Sylhet. Police's Assistant Sub-inspector Kamal Uddin died on the spot.
Two constables succumbed to their injuries in a hospital later. The envoy was injured along with nearly 40 employees of the Sylhet district administration. In December 2008, a Sylhet court ordered death sentence for the three. It also ordered life in prison for two others, Mohibullah alias Mofizur Rahman and Mufti Moin Uddin alias Abu Zandal. They had not appealed against the decision. All of five of the convicts are in jail now. Hannan and the two other death-row convicts moved the High Court, but failed to get a verdict in their favour. They challenged the decision with the Appellate Division, which on December 7 last year upheld the sentence. Hannan is said to be the mastermind of 13 terrorist attacks, including an attempt on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's life.
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