Two new judges appointed to restart Mujib’s murder trial

March 6th, 2009 - 12:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, March 6 (IANS) Two high court judges will resume trial in the assassination of Bangladesh’s founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and several of his family members and political associates in August 1975, the Sheikh Hasina government has announced. Hasina is Rahman’s daughter.
President Zillur Rahman has appointed the seniormost among the high court judges, Justices Shah Abdul Nayeem Mominur Rahman and Abdul Aziz, to resume the trial.

The trial was all but stalled when Hasina’s political rival, Begum Khaleda Zia, ruled and two judges, M.M. Ruhul Amin and M.A. Matin, had opted out saying they were “embarrassed”.

Amin, now the country’s chief justice, will administer the oath to the two new judges who would form part of the bench that will hold the Mujib trial.

Legal experts say the appointments have paved the way for forming the required three-member bench of the apex court to hear appeals of five condemned prisoners against their conviction handed down by the high court, The Daily Star said Friday.

The appeals against death sentence handed down by the high court have remained pending in the SC for about 16 months “due to shortage of judges”.

Prime Minister Hasina and her younger sister Rehana are the sole survivors from their family of the massacre that took place in the early hours of Aug 15, 1975, in a military coup.

Dubbed “killer majors”, all of the assailants received an amnesty from the government that took office after the coup. Many of them received diplomatic assignments.

The murder trial has had a chequered history. Those sentenced to death in 1999 - including Lt. Col. (sacked) Syed Farooq-ur Rahman, Lt. Col. (retd) Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan, Lt. Col. (retd) Muhiuddin Ahmed, Major (retd) A.K.M. Mahiuddin Ahmed and Major (retd) Bazlul Huda - filed appeals with the apex court in the last week of October 2007 as per the court order.

One of the former officers living in the US, A.K. Mohiuddin, was repatriated in 2007 to join the others in jail and awaits trial.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in World |