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Two Bangladeshi leaders executed for war crimes

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Dhaka: Bangladesh executed two political leaders, convicted of war crimes during the country’s independence war in 1971, amid tight security early on Sunday.

Bangladesh’s war crimes tribunals had found the two guilty of collaborating with Pakistani forces and committing crimes, including mass killings.

The executions of Salauddin Quader Chowdhury, a leader of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), and Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed, secretary general of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami party, were carried out at 12.55 AM, a news agency quoted Jahangir Kabir, jail superintendent of Dhaka Central Jail, as saying.

The two walked to the gallows together at Dhaka Central Jail amid tight security, Brigadier Gen. Syed Iftekhar Uddin, inspector general (prisons), told a news daily.

The execution took place hours after Bangladesh President Abdul Hamid rejected their mercy pleas, clearing the way for their execution.

The family members of Mojaheed and Chowdhury, who met them at the jail for the last time before the executions, claimed they did not seek presidential mercy.

About two hours after executions, ambulances carrying the bodies left the jail for Mojaheed and Chowdhury’s ancestral homes.

Authorities have tightened security in Dhaka and elsewhere in the country in the wake of the executions.

Thousands of security personnel have been stationed at key state institutions.

A four-member bench of Bangladesh Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha on Wednesday had dismissed the review petitions of Mojaheed and Chowdhury.

Chowdhury was a leader of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), which is headed by ex-prime minister Khaleda Zia, a rival of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

After returning to power in January 2009, Hasina, the daughter of Bangladesh’s independence hero Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, established the first tribunal in March 2010, almost 40 years after the 1971 fight for independence from Pakistan.

Both the BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami party have dismissed the court as a government “show trial”, saying it is a domestic set-up without the oversight or involvement of the UN.

Jamaat-e-Islami party has called for a strike on Monday.

(IANS)

 

 

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Khaleda Zia granted bail in 2008 corruption case

Khaleda is a two-time Bangladesh Prime Minister, having ruled from 1991-96 and again from 2001-06

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Khaleeda Zia granted 64 months bail. IANS

Bangladesh Nationalist Party Chairperson Khaleda Zia, convicted in a corruption case, was granted bail on Monday.

BNP leader Zia secured a four-month bail in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case in which she was handed five years of imprisonment by a Bangladesh court.

“Now, there is no legal bar to let Khaleda walk out of prison on bail,” Bangladesh Daily Star quoted BNP Advocate Sagir Hossain Leon as saying.

Earlier today, a bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Shahidul Karim passed the bail order in response to a petition moved by Khaleda before a high court back in February.

Her bail was considered on four grounds, including her health condition.

Further, the high court directed the concerned authority to prepare the paper book of the case within the next four months for hearing the appeal she filed against her conviction in the case.

The high court sentenced Zia’s eldest son and Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s (BNP) Vice-Chairman Tarique Rahman and four others for at least 10 years with a fine of 2.10 crore Bangladeshi takas (Tk).

The Anti-Corruption Commission had earlier filed a case in 2008 with Ramna Police Station, accusing six persons including Khaleda and her son Tarique.

Khaleda is a two-time Bangladesh Prime Minister, having ruled from 1991-96 and again from 2001-06.

In a political career spanning almost four decades, Khaleda went to the jail several times but was never convicted. She was detained several times during the anti-Ershad movement between the 1980s and 1990s.

In March 1983, she was made vice-chairperson of BNP after her husband and former Bangladesh President Ziaur was assassinated.

She went on to become the party’s chairperson in 1984, a position which she holds today. May 10, 1984.

Since the last three decades, Bangladeshi politics have been dominated by Zia and current Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

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