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Bangladesh to resume Mujib murder trial

world Updated: Jul 11, 2009 21:39 IST

IANS
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Bangladesh will shortly resume the trial relating to the murder of its founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, who was killed along with most of his family members in a military-led coup on August 15, 1975, the country's law minister announced on Saturday.

The trial will resume after a long gap with the return to power of his elder daughter, Sheikh Hasina, in January this year.

A case was filed on October 2, 1996, a full 21 years after the killing, during Hasina's first trenure as the country's prime minister 1996-2001.

The trial, however, had slowed down and came to a halt during the regime of her rival, Begum Khaleda Zia during 2001-06.

A bench of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court will hear appeals against a 1998 judgement handing down down death sentences to 15 retired and dismissed army personnel for the multiple murders.

Law Minister Shafiq Ahmed announced appointments of four new judges for the apex court, Star Online reported.

"Following the new appointments, the hearing of the Bangabandhu murder case will run along with other cases," he added.

Mujib for short, and referred to with the honorific Bangabandhu ('friend of Bengal'), Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had declared independence in Pakistan's erstwhile eastern wing that separated after a bloody war in 1971.

He was the country's president when he was gunned down along with 28 family members and close relations, changing the political course of the new nation.

The process of bringing those responsible to book has depended upon the political dispensation in power.

Zia's husband, Ziaur Rahman, himself a war hero, sent out most officers believed to be involved in the murder conspiracy on diplomatic assignments for many years.

Ziaur Rahman, who became president in 1978, was himself killed in a military coup in May 1981.