Indian President Upholds Death Sentences for Rajiv Gandhi’s Killers

Posted August 11th, 2011 at 6:20 am (UTC-5)
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India's president has rejected the clemency petitions of three men convicted of killing former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.

The decision by President Pratibha Patil virtually assures that the three men will be hanged.

They were sentenced to death in 1999 for their part in the assassination, but had appealed to the president for mercy.

Twenty-six people were tried, convicted, and sentenced to death in the case. However, India's Supreme Court subsequently changed the majority of the sentences to life in prison.

Mr. Gandhi was assassinated in 1991 as he campaigned for reelection in southern India. He was killed by a woman suicide bomber who exploded a bomb wrapped around her waist as she knelt to touch Mr. Gandhi's feet.

Soon after the assassination, the Tamil Tigers said they killed Mr. Gandhi to protest India's involvement in Sri Lanka's civil war.