B`desh steps up campaign to bring back fugitive killers
Last Updated: Friday, January 29, 2010, 19:20
  
Dhaka: The government has stepped up a diplomatic campaign to bring back to Bangladesh six fugitive killers of the country's founding leader Sheikh Mujibur Rahman after five ex-army officers held guilty were hanged yesterday.

"I urge the (concerned foreign) governments to hand over persons hiding in their countries," said Syed Ashraful Islam, the Local Government Minister.

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed said effective measures were being taken to bring back the six fugitive killers to the country soon for trial.

"The home and foreign ministries are working to bring the fugitives back. Interpol has already issued red alert notices against them," Ahmed told reporters today.

Five ex-army officers -- Lieutenant Colonels Syed Faruk Rahman, Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan, AKM Mohiuddin Ahmed (lancer), Mohiuddin Ahmed (artillery) and sacked Major Bazlul Huda -- were hanged shortly after midnight at the central jail here yesterday after being found guilty in the assassination of Sheikh Mujib 35 years ago.

Sheikh Mujib was killed in 1975 along with his wife and three sons, including 10-year-old Russel. His daughters, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her younger sister Sheikh Rehana, survived the carnage as they were abroad at the time of the incident.

The six absconding convicted are former army officers Khandaker Abdur Rashid, Shariful Haque Dalim, AM Rashed Chowdhury, SHBM Nur Chowdhury, Abdul Majed and Moslehuddin.

Asked if the fugitives would get a chance to file appeal against their death penalties, Ahmed said chances were few that their appeals would be accepted by the Supreme Court.

"According to the law, one has to specify valid reasons for each day of delay for filling an appeal..... I don’t think there would be any significant reasons (and) as a lawyer I think their appeals would not be accepted," the Law Minister said.

Huda was brought back from Thailand in 1998 after Dhaka and Bangkok signed an extradition treaty while the US returned Mohiuddin Ahmed (lancer) in 2007.

"Bangladesh will do everything necessary to bring the killers to justice," Foreign Minister Dipu Moni earlier told agency.

However, they have declined to comment on the whereabouts because of the "sensitivity of the issue".

"I can assure you that at the end of the day the killers will be brought to justice," Foreign Secretary Mohamed Mijarul Quayes said, adding Bangladesh missions abroad were equipped with necessary directives about the fugitives.

The government earlier confirmed the that Noor Chowdhury was in Canada while police said they had information that Rashed Chowdhury was staying in the United States.

Ahmed said the Canadian government is helping Bangladesh to return fugitive Noor Chowdhury. "Only the legal formalities are pending now."

According to unconfirmed media reports, the other fugitives were hiding in Libya, Pakistan, Kenya and Hong Kong.

However, they were constantly travelling to different countries to escape arrests. The government earlier confirmed the death of one of the 12 convicts, ex-Lt. Col. Aziz Pasha in Zimbabwe eight years ago.

Police said Interpol had issued a second "red warrant" to track down the absconding killers and coup plotters in May last year.

PTI


First Published: Friday, January 29, 2010, 19:20


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