Eight of the nine convicted on June 27 are junior politicians belonging to the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, including the son of a former parliamentarian, according to news .
"This marks the first time in
Shortly before his murder in November 2005, Das published a series of reports for the Dhaka-based daily Samakal, detailing corruption by BNP officials, according to news reports. His body was in his bureau in the town of
But the long road to justice was pitted with potholes. One of the accused died during the course of the trial. Others were released on bail. Witnesses scared of testifying backed out, according to Saleem Samad, a local journalist who knew Das. And in 2006, the case was transferred from the local district court to the Dhaka Speedy Tribunal Court 1 for an expedited judgment after from local journalists. One defendant the legality of this transfer, resulting in further delays.
Seven years later, this "speedy" court delivered its decision. While many journalists and press freedom advocates have welcomed the verdict, Das' widow, Dipali Das, expressed her disappointment and concerns to local media that the convicts would try to use their finances to get out of jail. Her concerns are legitimate;
It is widely accepted by those who knew Das that those sentenced are the individuals behind the murder. It remains unclear if these men are the masterminds based on the police investigation, eyewitness accounts and confessions of the convicts, according to local journalists. Bulbul warned that the judgment will likely be appealed, and in a politicized place like
Impunity for journalists' murders runs deep in