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World `too small` for Mujib`s fugitive killers: Hasina

Last Updated: Sunday, January 31, 2010 - 14:42

Dhaka: Making her first public appearance after five ex-Army officers were hanged for killing Bangladesh founder president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Premier Sheikh Hasina has vowed to bring back from abroad the rest six convicted assassins of her father and send them to the gallows.
"... Where will they hide? The world is big and also too small. They have nowhere to hide," Hasina said last night in a public address.

She promised to bring back home her father`s six fugitive killers, who were among 12 convicted of carrying out the August 15, 1975 putsch in which Bangabandhu along with most of his family members was killed.

Five of the 12 sentenced to death were executed after midnight on Wednesday. One of the convicts had already died in Zimbabwe eight years ago.

Hasina said she would have died unhappy were she not able to see the execution while the "entire nation also waited 34 years to see it”.

Her comments came as Bangladesh intensified a diplomatic campaign, also engaging Interpol, to bring back six killers and called on foreign countries to help track them down and extradite. The six are ex-Lt Colonels Khandaker Abdur Rashid, Shariful Haque Dalim, AM Rashed Chowdhury,SHBM Noor Chowdhury, ex-captain Abdul Majed and army risaldar Moslehuddin.

Officials have said that at least one of them, Noor Chowdhury, the man who sprayed bullets on Bangabandhu along with the already executed Bazlul Huda, had taken refuge in Canada.

Canada, which had already launched the process for Noor Chowdhury`s extradition, might now reject Bangladesh`s call to deport the Toronto resident in the wake of the execution of the five, media reports said.

Canada does not have the provision of death penalty in its justice system.

The 59-year-old Chowdhury has been challenging a Canadian deportation order on the grounds that he would be hanged if he returned to Bangladesh.

Canada, which abolished capital punishment in 1976, requires foreign nations to guarantee that any suspect extradited by it will not be subject to the death penalty.

However, Law Minister Shafique Ahmed and prosecution lawyers said Chowdhury and other absconding ex-Army officers would have the opportunity to appeal against their conviction.

Foreign Ministry officials have declined to comment about their whereabouts or if all of them were tracked down abroad because of the "sensitivity of the issue", but hinted that necessary intelligence was gathered in some cases.

Media reports quoting police, meanwhile, said Rashed Chowdhury was now staying in the US and Dhaka has requested the American government through its embassy in Washington to deport him.

According to unconfirmed reports, others could be hiding in Libya, Pakistan, Kenya, Hong Kong and India but several of them were also travelling to different countries time to time to escape arrest.

Police said Interpol issued a second "red warrant" renewing an earlier one to track down the absconding assassins and coup plotters in May last year.


First Published: Sunday, January 31, 2010 - 14:42
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