Killer of Bangladesh’s founding leader faces execution 45 years on

DHAKA (AFP) – A Bangladesh military captain arrested after nearly 25 years on the run over the assassination of the country’s founding leader will be executed, officials said yesterday.

Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, father of current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, was killed along with most of his family in a military coup on August 15, 1975.

In 1998 Abdul Majed was sentenced to death along with a dozen other army officers over the murders.

Bangladesh’s Supreme Court upheld the verdict in 2009 and five of the killers were executed several months later.

Majed is believed to have fled to India in 1996.

He returned to Bangladesh last month, a prosecutor told reporters. Acting on a tip-off, counter-terrorism police arrested Majed on Tuesday as he rode in a rickshaw in the capital Dhaka, said Police Inspector Johurul Haque.

“The formalities to execute him have already begun,” Justice Minister Anisul Huq told AFP, adding that the former officer will not be able to appeal his sentence.

Huq said Majed’s only option to avoid the gallows was to appeal to the president for clemency. However, since President Abdul Hamid is a close confidante of Hasina, any mercy appeal is expected to be turned down, paving the way for his execution within weeks.