Twenty six people were sentenced to death by a Bangladeshi court on Monday (16 January). They were found guilty of murdering seven people who were abducted outside a cricket stadium in the central city of Narayanganj in April 2014.
According to AFP, all 35 defendants in the case were found guilty of kidnapping and killing. The victims' bodies were found floating in a river, just three days after witnesses said they saw a group of people being bundled into the back of a van in the city of Narayangunj.
The court was hearing a case in which a politician from the ruling Awami League hired members of the country's elite security unit to kill political rivals.
After a year-long trial, Judge Enayet Hossain ordered death sentence for 26 defendants. The other nine were given jail sentences ranging from seven to 17 years.
"Of the 26 who have been sentenced to hang, 16 were the members of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB)," prosecutor S M Wazed Ali told AFP.
Amongst those sentenced to death was Tareq Sayeed, who was a commander in the elite unit of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) is also the son-in-law of a minister in Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's cabinet.
During the trial, prosecutors said that Nur Hossain – a local councillor in Narayangunj – hired RAB officers to abduct and kill his rival Nazrul Islam and four of his aides.
Hossain fled to India soon after the killings but was captured in the city of Kolkata and was later extradited.
Shakhawat Hossain Khan, a lawyer for the plaintiffs said "We're satisfied. We finally got justice."