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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