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Cablegate: Foreign Minister Calls in Diplomatic Corps After

VZCZCXYZ0006
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHKA #0115/01 0390918
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 080918Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY DHAKA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9990
INFO RUEAWJB/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY

UNCLAS DHAKA 000115

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR SCA/INSB, L/EMP PMCDONOUGH
DOJ FOR OIA JEFFERY OLSON OPDAT BARBARA BERMAN

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PINR KDEM PHUM BG
SUBJECT: FOREIGN MINISTER CALLS IN DIPLOMATIC CORPS AFTER
EXECUTION OF SHEIKH MUJIBUR RAHMAN KILLERS

REF: DHAKA 31

1. (SBU) Foreign Minister Dr. Dipu Moni
called in the Ambassador and other COMs January 28 to
request assistance in apprehending the absconding killers
of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, founder of Bangladesh and father
to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. In a hastily-arranged
meeting the day after the execution of five men convicted
for their role in Sheikh Mujib's assassination, the Foreign
Minister presented the diplomatic corps with an aide
memoire outlining the efforts to bring the assassins to
justice and a request from the Government of Bangladesh
(GOB) for "the cooperation of concerned governments in
apprehending the killers and for implementing the final
verdict of the court."

2. (SBU) The full text of the Aide Memoire is repeated
below. The January 28 gathering is yet another step in the
GOB's pursuit of the absconding killers.

TEXT OF AIDE MEMOIRE
--------------------

3. (SBU) Begin text:

On 15 August 1975, the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu
Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was brutally killed, along with
eighteen members of his family. In addition, twelve
civilians and a policeman also lost their lives in the
heinous act. Only Bangabandhu's two daughters - Honorable
Prime Mininster Sheikh Hasina and Sheikh Rehana - survived as
they were abroad at the time. It was not until 1996 that
due legal processes could commence, and it took thirty four
years for justice to be served. During the intervening
years, except for a brief period, the country was under
unconstitutional rule with military and quasi-military
governments in power.

The First Information Report (FIR) was filed on 2 October
1996 by Mr. A. F. M. Mohitul Islam with the Dhanmondi
Police Station. On 12 November 1996, the Parliament
repealed the Indemnity Ordinance of 1975, removing the
legal obstacle in the way of holding the trial.

Following investigation, submission of charge sheet, and
framing of charges, the trial court completed its
proceedings on 8 November 1998, pronouncing death sentences
for 15 of the accused and acquitting four others.

The hearing of the death reference finally started in the
High Court on 28 June 2000, about 20 months after the
verdict of the trial court, and was completed on 30 April
2001.

Judges' embarrassment in the Appellate Division of the
Supreme Court further delayed completion of the trial of
the case, which was not heard for a single day during the
term of the previous government (2001-2006).

A five-member Special Bench began hearing of the regular
appeals only after the Awami League-led Grand-Alliance
formed the government following the historic elections of
29 December 2008. The hearing started on 5 October 2009.
After 29 days of hearing, the Appellate Division of the
Supreme Court delivered the final verdict on 19 November
2009. The Appellate Division upheld the High Court's
verdict of death sentences for the 12 self-confessed
killers of the Father of the Nation. On 17 December 2009,
all five members of the Bench signed the final verdict.

Death warrants were issued against Syed Faruk Rahman,
Mohiuddin Ahmed, Bazlul Huda, A.K.M. Mohiuddin and Sultan
Shahriar Rashid Khan on 3 January, 2010. All five death-row
convicts submitted separate review petitions and a special
four-member Bench of the Appellate Division of the Supreme
Court, headed by Chief Justice Md. Tafazzul Islam,
dismissed the review petitions on 27 January 2010. Clemency
pleas were rejected by the Honorable President as well. The
five convicted killers were executed past midnight of 27
January 2010, in accordance with the final verdict.

Due process of law, penal provisions, and the Jail Code
were followed throughout the process and each step of the
process was transparent and open to public, judicial, and
Constitutional scrutiny. The verdict was implemented to end
impunity, reaffirm the rule of law and for delivering on
the election manifesto of the Awami-League led Grand
Alliance, for which the people had voted overwhelmingly.


Six more convicts are absconding from justice. Bangladesh
government seeks the cooperation of concerned governments
in apprehending the killers and for implementing the final
verdict of the Court.

End text.
MORIARTY

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