April 18, 2018 7:23:06 pm
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said her government was in talks with the UK authorities for the extradition of former premier Khalida Zia’s “convicted fugitive” son, Tarique Rahman. Rahman, who is living in London since 2007, has been convicted and sentenced to seven years in jail in 2016 by a high court in a money laundering case and was also slapped a fine of Taka 200 million.
He has also been declared absconder by a trial court in a case related to deadly grenade attack on a rally by the then opposition and now ruling Awami League at Bangabandhu Avenue on August 21, 2004, which left 24 people dead and more than 300 others injured. He is also wanted in a number of criminal and graft cases. Hasina had a narrow escape in the attack but it left her with hearing impairment.
“He (Rahman) will have to face the court…definitely we will bring him back one day,” the Bangladesh premier, who is in London to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), said in a function late Tuesday. According to the state-run BSS news agency the premier was also critical of the UK for providing refuge to a convicted fugitive like Rahman, but added “we are in talks with the British government” for his extradition.
Hasina said anybody could seek refuge in Britain since it was a free country “but Tarique Rahman has been convicted by the court for committing crimes and I don’t understand how the UK has given shelter to a convicted person”. Bangladesh had earlier asked London to extradite Rahman but the British authorities have, so far declined to make any public statement on the issue calling it a “personal matter of an individual”.
Rahman was put behind the bars by the military-backed interim government, but he was allowed by the Supreme Court to take an overseas tour for medical treatment at the fag end of the regime. But he preferred to stay back in London, where he became the senior vice president of BNP, which in February this year installed him as the acting party chief after a court sentenced her mother and BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia to a five-year prison term in a corruption case.
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