Monday, March 05, 2007

Canada won't deport Bangladeshi prime minister's killer

Tom Godfrey:

A Bangladeshi fugitive convicted of killing his country's prime minister in a bloody coup won't be deported from Canada because he faces a death sentence in his native land, an immigration board has ruled.

Noor Chowdhury, 57, filed a refugee claim to stay in Canada in 1997, but was deemed inadmissable due to convictions in absentia for murder and conspiracy to commit murder, according to an Immigration and Refugee Board.

Identified in the board's decision as C, the former lieutenant-colonel in the Bangladeshi military and 18 others were convicted of taking part in an August 1975 coup in which PM Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and 15 members of his family were murdered.

"C participated in a coup against the president, walking into the victim's home and killing him," the board said in a ruling made available last week.

The board noted he faces certain death if he's deported to Bangladesh. "Removal to Bangladesh was not foreseeable as long as the death sentence remained in effect," the board said.

Chowdhury and two others allegedly involved in the coup fled to Canada after years on the run. The two others -- one who lives in Ottawa and the other in Montreal -- have since obtained citizenship.

One of Rahman's daughters, Sheikh Hasina, became prime minister of Bangladesh in 1996 and vowed to bring her fathers' killers to justice. In 1999, 15 people were sentenced to death for their roles in the massacre.

Accommodating Assassins

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