| GEO World|
| Six acquitted for 1975 Bangladesh independence killings|
| Updated at: 0314 PST, Friday, August 29, 2008|
DHAKA: Six Bangladeshi men convicted of murder in a politically sensitive case that has gripped the nation for more than three decades were acquitted Thursday, a court official said.
The men -- among 21 who were initially charged -- were convicted in 2004 in the "Jail Killings" case, so-called because the victims were killed while behind bars.
"Two people who had been given death sentences in 2004 have been cleared of the charges and another four serving life sentences have also been acquitted," assistant attorney general ASM Abdul Mubin told media.
The victims, four close associates of Bangladesh's first president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, were shot at close range inside Dhaka Central Jail before dawn on November 3, 1975.
The killings took place soon after Sheikh Mujib, who had led a bloody struggle for independence from Pakistan in 1971, was assassinated in a coup along with more than 20 members of his family.
Twenty-one politicians and army officers were charged in 1975 with the jail murders, but one has since died and five were acquitted in 2004.
No action was taken for many years in the case but it was revived in 1996 when Sheikh Mujib's daughter Sheikh Hasina Wajed, leader of the Awami League party, became prime minister.