Tofail Ahmed Joseph, one of the top listed criminals, has been commuted to life-term imprisonment instead of capital punishment in the Freedom Party (now defunct) leader Mostafizur Rahman murder case.
A three-member Appellate Division bench headed by the chief justice SK Sinha on Wednesday pronounced the verdict after hearing the appeal filed by Joseph challenging a High Court verdict that had upheld his death sentence in 2007.
The Appellate Division also acquitted another accused Md Kabil Sarker, who was sentenced life-term imprisonment of the murder charge.
Khandaker Mahbub Hossain, Mahbub Ali and AM Aminuddin stood for Joseph and Kabil.
On May 7, 1996 Freedom Party leader of city’s Mohammadpur area Mostafizur Rahman was shot dead by some unknown assailants. Victim’s wife Rashida Parvin filed a case the following day.
After trial, the Speedy Trial Tribunal of Dhaka sentenced Joseph and another accused Masud Jamadder to death and Kabil to life term imprisonment on April 25, 2004.
The High Court on September 20, 2007 upheld the death penalty of Joseph and life term imprisonment of Kabil and acquitted Masud Jamaddar of the charges following a petition by the convicts.
Later, Joseph and Kabil filed appeal against the High Court verdict.
Joseph, now undergoing treatment at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University under police custody, lawyers said.