Journalist's link to Hasina's son murder plot found: police

BANGLADESH-UNREST-MEDIA-PRESS-ARREST Bangladeshi security personnel escort Shafik Rehman (C) at a court following his arrest in Dhaka on April 16 | AFP
  • Journalist Shafik Rehman has admitted that he held several meetings with those who hatched the plot to abduct and kill (Hasina's son Sajib Wajed Joy)—police spokesman Monirul Islam

Bangladesh police on Tuesday claimed to have found evidence about links of two detained pro-opposition senior journalists to abduction and murder plot of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's son in the US.

"Journalist Shafik Rehman has admitted that he held several meetings with those who hatched the plot to abduct and kill him (Hasina's son Sajib Wajed Joy)," police spokesman Monirul Islam told reporters.

Rehman, 81, an editor and adviser to ex-premier Khaleda Zia, was detained over what was termed a plot to kill Joy. He was quizzed by police for the second consecutive day today under a five-day remand order since his arrest on Saturday.

Islam said police also found links of opposition BNP mouthpiece Amar Desh editor Mahmudur Rahman, 62, who is in jail since 2013 under several other charges, in the plot and "legal procedure is underway to secure a court order for him to be remanded in our custody for interrogation."

Another official familiar with the investigation said police recovered several "confidential documents" of FBI about the plot during a search at Rehman's house.

"Rehman himself handed those (FBI) papers to us as we led him to his house under our custody after he admitted his links to the US-based plotters," police Detective Branchs deputy commissioner Mashruqur Rahman Khaled told newsmen.

Rehman, a TV anchor who was previously the editor of daily Jai Jai Din and currently runs fun weekly Mouchake Dhil, is regarded as a top intellectual aide of Zia whose BNP is now the key-opposition outside parliament as it declined to contest the 2014 general elections under Hasina's premiership.

The developments came a day after Hasina said her government would definitely take actions against those who would be found involved in her the plot.

In 2015, a New York court convicted US-based BNP leader Mahmud Ullah Mamun's son Rizvi Ahmed Caesar for bribing former FBI agent Robert Lustyik to get information about Joy's activities in the US.

According to media reports, middleman Johannes Thaler and the FBI agent were convicted by the US court after Caesar had admitted that he intended to 'scare,' 'kidnap' and 'hurt' Joy.

The allegations say some top leaders of the BNP and its allies met in the UK, the US and in the capital's Paltan and other parts of the country before September 2012 and conspired to abduct and kill Joy.

Meanwhile, BNP condemned Rehman's arrest and demanded his immediate release with its secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir saying the government arrested him to divert peoples attention from its numerous failures.'

"The incident proves that there is no democracy in the country and nobody has the right to express his free opinion," Alamgir said.

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Topics : #Bangladesh

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