Moshtaq hailed killers as 'Surja Santan'
The governments between 1975 and 1996 had helped rehabilitate the killers of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and most of his family.
In its judgment in the Bangabandhu murder case, the High Court quotes this from statements of the prosecution witnesses and accused.
During the sixth day's hearing on five convicts' appeals against death sentences, Abdullah-al Mamun, counsel for convicts Bazlul Huda and AKM Mohiuddin, yesterday read prosecution witness Col (retd) Shafayat Jamil's statement contained in the HC verdict.
The five-member Appellate Division bench adjourned the hearing till 9:30am today.
In his testimony, Shafayat Jamil said Pakistan recognised Bangladesh under Khondker Moshtaq Ahmed within an hour after the killings of Bangabandhu and family members on August 15, 1975.
He said Moshtaq, who was sworn in as president, hailed the killers as Surja Santan (the gallant sons) at different functions.
Major Syed Faruque Rahman, a convict in the Bangabandhu murder case, who was dismissed for attempting to stir up a mutiny in Savar and Bogra cantonments and an uprising against Ziaur Rahman, was even a presidential candidate in 1986.
Shafayat said that after taking over on November 7, 1975, Major General Ziaur Rahman rehabilitated the army officers involved in the killings of August 15 and November 3 earlier that year.
He gave them postings to Bangladesh missions in different countries.
Major Faruque and Major Khondker Abdur Rashid however did not accept any job abroad. They returned home in 1976.
While Faruque tried a mutiny in Savar and Bogra cantonments, Rashid attempted to usurp the commanding officer's position in 2 Field Artillery.
Still, Zia did not take any action against them. Instead, he sent them abroad.
Towards the end of 1980, the officers responsible for the August 15 bloodbath tried in vain to stage a revolt against Ziaur Rahman. This time they all got the axe.
The killers of Bangabandhu got rehabilitated for the second time after HM Ershad came to power.
Ershad paid them all their arrears.
After yesterday's hearing, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told reporters that Major General (retd) Shafiullah, the then army chief, looked “exhausted” in the aftermath of the August 15 carnage, while Ziaur Rahman appeared “normal”.