SANGSAD BHABAN: Prime Minister and Leader of the House Sheikh Hasina yesterday said her government has favoured a strong opposition…
DHAKA: The government has appointed an internationally reputed lawyer to bring back the six fugitive convicted killers of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman from different countries.
“We have recently appointed a globally famous lawyer to pave the way for bringing back six convicted fugitive killers of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman,” Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan told BSS at his Secretariat office here.
The minister, however, did not disclose the name of the lawyer.
He said the Home Ministry has recently forwarded a letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to make effective diplomatic efforts alongside the legal ones to bring back the convicted killers.
“The government obtained updated information on all six fugitive killers of Bangabandhu,” said the minister, adding “Legal and diplomatic efforts are now underway to bring back home all the fugitive killers hiding in different countries.”
Asaduzzaman also informed that the Canadian government in principle agreed to send back one of Bangabandhu’s fugitive convicted killers, Noor Chowdhury, to the country, but they have sought assurance that he (Noor Chowdhury) would not be hanged in Bangladesh as death penalty is prohibited in Canada.
There is also a positive development regarding the repatriation of Lt. Col. (sacked) A M Rashed Chowdhury who is now hiding in the United States of America (USA), he added.
The International Police Organization (Interpol) issued separate ‘Red Notices’ in all of its member countries in 2009 to find out the fugitive killers following requests from the Bangladesh government.
Meanwhile, a taskforce formed by the government on March 28, 2010 with Law Minister Anisul Huq as its head, has been working on this issue.
Two law firms have already been engaged by the government in the USA and Canada for bringing back home the fugitive convicted killers Col (dismissed) Khandker Abdur Rashid and Major (Retd) Noor Chowdhury respectively.
Efforts are also on to get back one of the self-confessed killers Risaldar Muslemuddin, who is believed to be in India now.
The authorities, however, are not yet confirmed about the whereabouts of three other fugitive killers Lt Col (relieved) Shariful Haque Dalim, and Captain Abdul Majed but unconfirmed sources claimed that Shariful Haque Dalim and Abdul Majed might have been hiding in Zimbabwe or Libya and Senegal respectively.
Earlier on November 19, 2009, the Supreme Court upheld a High Court verdict, confirming capital punishment for 12 people, including the six, for killing Father of the Nation and most of his family members on the dreadful night of August 15, 1975.
Five other convicts in the case – Syed Farooq Rahman, Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan, Bazlul Huda, AKM Mohiuddin Ahmed, and Mohiuddin Ahmed – were hanged on January 27, 2010.
Another killer, Aziz Pasha, died in Zimbabwe in 2001. The country had earlier launched a campaign to track down and bring back six fugitive ex-army officers hiding abroad to escape death sentences for the August 15, 1975 assassination.
Bangladesh’s architect Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was assassinated alongside most of his family members on the fateful night of Aug 15, 1975, after four years of its independence by a group of disgruntled army officers at his residence in Dhaka’s Dhanmondi-32.
Aimed at saving the self-proclaimed killers of Bangabandhu, the trial in the case was stopped through an Indemnity Ordinance.
After assuming power in 1996, the Awami League (AL) had abrogated the ordinance to pave the way for bringing the killers to justice. But the case proceedings came to a near halt after the BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami coalition formed government in 2001.
Later, the AL restarted the trial after returning to power in 2009.