B`desh formally seeks extradition of Zia`s son from UK

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - 20:19

Dhaka: Bangladesh has formally asked Britain to extradite ex-premier Khaleda Zia`s "fugitive" elder son as he is wanted by courts here on charges of graft and a deadly grenade attack on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Zia`s 45-year-old son Tarique Rahman has been living in London since 2008 in self-imposed exile as he faces corruption and criminal cases back home. He is reportedly studying law there besides carrying out political activities from the UK.

"We have sent yesterday a formal letter through our Foreign Ministry to the UK`s National Central Bureau requesting his (Rahman`s) extradition in line with a warrant issued by the court," a senior Home Ministry official told PTI.

He said the letter was issued following a court directive to bring him to justice, especially for money laundering charges.

A Dhaka court earlier declared him a "fugitive" as he failed to appear before the court despite repeated summons.

Officials said this was the second such letter after June when Bangladesh High Commission in London handed over a memo along with a copy of the court`s arrest warrant to the British authorities seeking Rahman`s return.

Home Minister Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir earlier said that the government sought to return Rahman also through the Interpol as "it is a constitutional obligation on our part to follow the court orders".

Rahman allegedly masterminded a fatal grenade attack in 2004 on a rally of the then opposition, killing 24 people. Incumbent Prime Minister Hasina narrowly escaped the attack but sustained permanent hearing impairment.

Dhaka`s request came amid an intensified political deadlock pitting the ruling Awami League and BNP with fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami being its crucial ally over the electoral system while the election is due ahead of January 25, 2014.

The British High Commission officials here were unavailable for comments immediately and it is unclear if Rahman sought asylum in the UK while the British authorities earlier declined to make any public statement on the issue, calling it a "personal matter of an individual".

A Dhaka court on May 26 issued a warrant ordering Rahman`s appearance to face trial on graft charges brought by Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) during the 2006-2008 emergency rules under an army-backed interim government when he was also put behind the bars.

PTI

First Published: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - 20:19

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