US scribe to depose on Dhaka trial he covered 35 years ago

March 14th, 2011 - 3:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, March 14 (IANS) Veteran American journalist and writer Lawrence Lifschultz will depose before Dhaka High Court about a military court trial that he reported in 1976 before being expelled from the country by the then military-led government.

Lifschultz, who arrived here last Saturday, had covered the trial of Col. Abu Taher, a freedom fighter who had developed political differences with the then army chief and military strongman, Gen. Ziaur Rahman.

Lifschultz has charged that Gen. Ziaur Rahman had decided on Col. Abu Taher’s execution before the formation of the military tribunal that eventually sentenced Taher to death.

Lifschultz will appear before the bench of Justice A.H.M. Shamsuddin Chowdhury Manik and Justice Sheikh Md. Zakir Hossain to which he had earlier sent an affidavit giving his version of the case, M.K. Rahman, additional attorney general, told The Daily Star.

The high court is hearing a writ petition that challenged the legality of the martial law regulation under which a military tribunal was formed and Col. Taher was sentenced to death.

A Pulitzer Prize winner, Lifschultz, on being expelled from Dhaka, had recorded the trial and related political upheavals in Bangladesh after the assassination of its founder, president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, in a book titled “Bangladesh: The Unfinished Revolution”.

Ziaur Rahman, who went on to become the country’s president, was also killed in May 1981.

His widow, Khaleda Zia, served as prime minister for two terms and is currently the leader of opposition in parliament.

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