Legal battle begins to bring back Bangabandhu killer from Canada

Sheikh Shahariar Zaman
Published : 21:25, Jul 13, 2018 | Updated : 09:51, Jul 15, 2018

Noor ChwodhuryThe government has started a legal battle to bring back Bangabandhu killer Noor Chowdhury from Canada.
Last week, a case has been filed with Canada Federal Court requesting it to give a ruling on disposing off a PRRA petition, which works as a protective shield to Noor Chwodhury.
A senior official said, “We repeatedly request the Canadian government to deport him but they showed little interest in doing that.”
But, now we have taken the matter to court to get justice, he said.
Ottawa is not interested to deport Noor Chwodhury as it conflicts with a 2001 Canadian Supreme Court ruling that directs the government that in all but the most exceptional circumstances, it cannot send back death sentence convicts.
In 2004, a Canadian court refused Noor’s refugee application and instructed the authorities concerned to take necessary measures to deport him.
The killer challenged the verdict and filed an appeal which he was again lost in 2007 when the court upheld the decision of the lower court of deporting him.
Sensing trouble in 2009, when Awami League came to power, Noor filed a Pre-Removal Risk Assessment (PRRA) petition before the Attorney General office in Canada.
In the petition, Noor narrated that he would face death penalty if he is deported and asked the attorney general office to allow him to live in the country. But, for the last nine years, it has been pending with the AG office as there is a dilemma in the Canadian system to give any decision.
The official said, “We filed the case so that the court instructs the AG office to give a decision.”
If the AG office refuses his petition, then there will be no barrier to his deportation, he said.
But, if it is accepted then Noor would get a status leading to his citizenship and we will then file another case with the court that he should be deported as he is an accused of crime against humanity case.
At present, he enjoys no status, but allowed to live in Canada, he added.
Earlier Law Minister Anisul Haq said Bangladesh lost the opportunity to bring him back as Canada’s court instructed twice Noor’s deportation – first in 2004 and second in 2007.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali last week in the parliament said the government is pursuing diplomatic efforts to bring back Bangabandhu killers.
In written reply to a question put forward by Awami League MP AKM Rahmatullah, the minister said, “Diplomatic efforts are on to bring the convicted killers back from the US and Canada. But, there are some legal complications.”
Citing example, he said, some Western countries including Canada abolished death sentences.
There is a legal bar to deport death sentence convict from Canada, he said.
“Canada is expressing its unwillingness to send back Noor Chowdhury even though Federal Court denied his refugee status application and issued deportation order,” he said.
The minister informed the house that Rashed Chwodhury is now in the US, Khandkar Abdur Rashid is hiding in Pakistan, Shariful Haque Dalim in Libya or Zimbabwe and Abdul Mazed in Senegal.
Risaldar Mosleh Uddin was believed to be in Germany but it could not be verified, he said.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman along with his family members was brutally killed on August 15, 1975.
The military government which came to power after his assassination blocked the trial of the killings by promulgating the infamous Indemnity Ordinance.
The trial process began in 1996 when Awami League government came to power after 21 years.
Out of 12 convicted, death sentences of five killers were executed in 2010. They are Syed Farooq Rahman, Sultan Shahriar Rashid Khan, AKM Mohiuddin Ahmed, Mohiuddin Ahmed and Bazlul Huda.
Md Abdul Aziz Pasha had a natural death in Zimbabwe.
Killer AKM Mohiuddin Ahmed was deported from the US in 2007 as his political asylum application was refused by a court in the North American country.
However, Rashed Chowdhury successfully managed to get political asylum in the country. Many legal experts believe Rashed lied while applying for the asylum, otherwise his application would have been rejected.