Bangladesh prosecutors on Monday demanded the death sentence for the son of opposition leader Khaleda Zia for his alleged role in a deadly 2004 grenade attack in which current prime minister Sheikh Hasina was injured.
More than 20 people were killed in the assault on a rally led by Hasina when she was in opposition and Zia was in power.
Zia's son Tarique Rahman, who lives in exile in London, says the criminal conspiracy case against him is part of a political witch-hunt. Zia and Hasina have been arch-rivals for three decades, during which they have alternated in power.
With the marathon trial nearing a close, prosecutors on Monday sought death sentences for Rahman and 48 others, including the then-home minister and the chiefs of major intelligence agencies.
Chief prosecutor Syed Rezaur Rahman told AFP that meetings to plan the attack were held at Tarique Rahman's office in Bangladesh Nationalist Party headquarters. "He assured all sorts of administrative and monetary help to the killers."
The prosecutor, summarising his speech to the court, said a brother of a minister in Zia's administration who fled to Pakistan had distributed the grenades to the killers.
He said the aim had been to kill Hasina and leaders of her Awami League party.
More than 10 grenades were thrown into the rally of thousands of Hasina followers in the Bangladesh capital on August 21, 2004. Hasina was among hundreds injured.
Khaleda's government initially blamed a street hawker for the attack.
Zia, a two-time prime minister, also faces charges related to violence and corruption. Her trial on two graft charges is expected to end this month.
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