Senior Correspondent, bdnews24.com
Published: 2019-08-23 20:26:35 BdST
“And maybe afterwards the path will be cleared,” Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said as Bangladesh is trying to bring him back to face the death sentence.
The minister, however, cautioned that Canada will never return anybody to a country where they can face death sentence. “We are trying to bring him back.”
He was speaking before foreign diplomats at a special discussion titled “August 15 and Its Impact on Bangladesh” organised by International Affairs Sub Committee of Bangladesh Awami League on Friday at the Bangababandhu Memorial Trust in Dhaka.
About 30 diplomats from different countries including the US, the UK, Russia, China, Japan, and Switzerland attended the briefing.
International affairs Sub-Committee Chairman Mohammad Zamir, and International Affairs Secretary Shammi Ahmed also spoke at the discussion.
Former governor of Bangladesh Bank Mohammed Farashuddin, who also served as Personal Secretary to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman from 1973 to 1975, presented the keynote paper.
Abdur Rahman Rama, who worked at the Bangabandhu’s house during the Aug 15, 1975 massacre, narrated the events of that horrific night.
But the investigation into the deaths was stopped through an Indemnity Ordinance, which had saved the self-proclaimed killers from facing justice.
The ordinance was abrogated in November, 1996 when the Awami League returned to power, paving the way to bringing the killers to justice.
After a lengthy trial, the court convicted 12 suspects and awarded them the death penalty in 2010.
Out of these self-proclaimed killers, five were hanged on Jan 28, 2010. One died before. SHMB Noor Chowdhury is living in Canada and M Rashed Chowdhury in the US.
The government does not know the whereabouts of the other four - Abdur Rashid, Shariful Haque Dalim, Abdul Majed and Risaldar Moslemuddin.
Noor Chowdhury. (File photo)
“Unfortunately we could not identify the countries where they are living now. After the 1975 changeover, the killers got jobs in foreign countries. They were working there. It was difficult to track them,” he said.
On Rashed Chowdhury, he said he had discussed the issue with his US counterpart Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and that the prime minister wrote a letter to President Donald Trump last year.
“We are hoping the US will make a decision. We are hoping to get a position response,” he said.
A federal court in Canada earlier this year heard the petition seeking the deportation of Noor Chowdhury.
The Bangladesh government has been trying to bring him back after the Awami League came to power in 2009.
The foreign minister said Canada does not share information and is refusing to send him back. “We are still working on that. In November, the court will give another verdict,” he said.