Mujib trial: Bangla Attorney general receives death threat

Last Updated: Monday, October 26, 2009 - 21:41

Dhaka: Bangladesh Attorney General Mahbubey Alam on Monday received an anonymous letter threatening to kill him and his family if the five death row convicts in the country`s founder Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman`s murder trial were not released from jail in 15 days.
"The letter was sent by post ...I have informed the matter to the Home Minister (Sahara Khatun)," Alam told reporters at his office this afternoon.

But he said he is not afraid of any threat and believed it was aimed to "demoralise the state-appointed lawyers in Bangabandhu murder trial" as the final appeal hearing of the case was underway at the apex Appellate Division of the Supreme Court.

He, however, added that he was also moving several other crucial cases against a number of influential people who could also be there behind the threat.

Officials of the Attorney General`s office said the letter, which was written on October 3, reached to them by post on Monday afternoon.

The letter was received days after as police arrested the elder daughter of a fugitive key convict in Bangabandhu case and brother of another absconding convict in the case, as officials suspected possible attempts to disrupt the murder trial at its final stage.

AR Babar, who was the State Minister for Home in ex-premier Khalda Zia`s regime, is currently serving 17 years of imprisonment for possessing illegal weapons.

Suspected Harkat-ul-Jihadi Islami (HuJI) members had reportedly carried out the attack which killed 24 persons, including Awami League leader Ivy Rahman, and left 400 others injured.

Of the 21 accused in the attacks, 14 persons – including its chief Mufty Hannan and ex-deputy minister of the BNP government Abdus Salam Pintu -- are now in jail to face the
trial while the remaining eight are still absconding.

Pintu`s absconding brother and HuJI leader Maulana Tazuddin had reportedly supplied the grenades while the ex-junior minister is suspected to have coordinated the plot.

Despite foreign security agencies like the Scotland Yard, the FBI and Interpol joining hands with Bangladesh officials, investigations could not make much headway as crucial evidences recovered from scene were destroyed.

Confusing statement by the detained HuJI chief, key suspect of the attack, prompted last week a Dhaka court to order further investigations into the case.

Investigators were also looking into the role of senior police officials and other security agency officials who had made deliberate attempts to "mislead" the case to protect the assailants.

"The prosecution only filed the petitions but could uncover nothing significant, so the order for further investigation is given to establish justice for both parties," Judge Masdar Hossain said in his order in August this year.

The police charge sheet was filed in June last year during the military-backed interim government, three and half years after the attack while several Bangladesh National Party
(BNP) lawmakers then claimed that Awami League itself had perpetrated the heinous attack.

"The then government tried its best to protect the killers although its moral responsibility was to arrest and try the culprits," Hasina alleged in her statement yesterday.

Legal actions were taken against the three previous police investigators - Munshi Atiqur Rahman, Abdur Rashad and Fazlul Kabir - who had tried to "mislead the case" in line with the alleged "political directives" of the then government, the police said.

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First Published: Monday, October 26, 2009 - 21:41

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