Today CBC Radio in Canada aired an interview with Lawrence Lifschultz, former South Asia reporter for the Far Eastern Economic Review. Lifschultz covered the Bangladesh coup of 1975 extensively. He is quite familiar with the killer Majors who orchestrated the coup, including convicted murderer Mohiuddin AKM Ahmed. In the interview he talked about the geo-political intrigue surrounding the coup, including Kissinger’s purported role in it. He also talked specifically about the fairness of the trial in Bangladesh and Mohiuddin’s role as one of the coup plotters. None of what he mentioned is unknown to those familiar with the events of 1975. All of it however contradicts the fiction cooked up by Mohiuddin as he tries to convince American congressmen to help him to continue to evade justice.
Initially Canadian media bought Mohiuddin’s victim card. But as the media in Canada has started to look at the facts of the case rather than the spin coming from Mohiuddin, they are beginning to see a clearer picture of Mohiuddin’s guilt.
CBC Radio introduced the interview with Lifschultz as follows:
When "As It Happens" first told the story of Mohuiddin Ahmed back on the 29th of May, it seemed like a relatively simple cry for help. A former Bangladeshi army officer was begging Canada for asylum. He was about to be deported from the United States to face execution for his role in a thirty year-old coup.
But we’ve been doing a little spadework since then. And with every interview, the story reveals itself to be more and more like a Graham Greene novel — in which individual lives are caught up in international intrigues beyond their ken.
Lawrence Lifschultz has been following the story of the 1975 coup from the beginning. He’s the former South Asia correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review. We reached Mr. Lifschultz in Branford, Connecticut. [Emphasis added by me.]
Click here for the audio of the interview. Some highlights of the interview:
The interview begins at 9:25 minutes.
Lifschultz describes the geo-political backdrop of the coup beginning at 10:15 minutes.
Lifschultz describes how the Majors were protected by the military after the coup and how some of the Majors were given diplomatic postings to protect them beginning at 18:38 minutes.
Lifschultz mentions Mohiuddin AKM Ahmed as one of the Majors who were the coup plotters beginning at 20:35 minutes.
Lifschultz explains why the trial in Bangladesh was fair at 20:51 minutes.
Current Status of Mohiuddin’s Deportation
Mohiuddin’s lawyers filed a petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus with the District Court for Central California on June 1st, citing the private bill introduced by Congressman Jim McDermott that aims to give Mohiuddin a green card. The District Court judge stayed the deportation pending a hearing that occurred on June 5th:
MINUTES before Judge Gary A. Feess: (In Chambers). Petitioner Mohuiddin A.K.M. Ahmed seeks a writ of habeas corpus that would stay his deportation pending Congress consideration of a priviate bill introduced on his behalf. Deportation shall be STAYED until close of business on 6/5/2007. Counsel for both Petitioner and the Government are ORDERED to appear for argument on 6/5/2007 at 09:30 AM. IT IS SO ORDERED.
At the June 5th hearing the District judge heard the motions from the lawyers and extended the stay of deportation by one day:
MINUTES before Judge Gary A. Feess: Deportation Hearing. Matter called. Counsel state their appearances for the record. Counsel argue their motion to the Court. The Court orders the extension of the current stay until 6/6/2007 at 05:00 PM. Pacific Daylight Time. IT IS SO ORDERED.
On June 6th the judge ordered Mohiuddin’s lawyers to submit a brief explaining their reasons to stay the deportation order by June 8th. He also ordered the government to respond by June 11th. He scheduled a hearing for June 13th at 9am and stayed the deportation order until then:
MINUTES before Judge Gary A. Feess: (In Chambers). ORDER REQUIRING FURTHER BRIEFING. Because of the importance of these issues, the Court declines to resolve them before the parties further elucidate their positions. Therefore, the Court ORDERS further briefing pursuant to the following schedule: 1) Petitioner shall submit a brief, not to exceed 20 pages, no later than close of business on 6/8/2007. The brief shall be served upon the Government by that as well, and aslo shall be accompanied by a courtesy copy to chambers. 2) The Government shall submit a response, also not to exceed 20 pages, no later than close of business on 6/11/2007, also accompanied by service upon Petitioner and a courtesy copy to chambers. 3) The matter will be heard on 6/13/2007 at 09:00 AM. In the meantime, Petitioner removal shall remain STAYED through 5:00 PM. Pacific Daylight Time on 6/13/2007. IT IS SO ORDERED.
The judge will presumably decide on the habeas petition on June 13th at the hearing. Unless McDermott’s private bill is marked up by the House Immigration Subcommittee by then, it is highly unlikely the judge will stay the execution. Given the debate around illegal immigration in Washington, it would be astonishing if the Immigration Subcommittee acts on a private bill granting a convicted murderer a green card. However, the stay of deportation until next week buys Mohiuddin’s lawyers time to plead their case with Canada for asylum. Although Canada does not deport individuals to countries where they may face the death penalty, it would be surprising if Canada allowed into its borders a convicted murderer who the United States has judged to have engaged in terrorist activities. The precedent this would set would make Canada a magnet for thugs and murderers escaping justice the world over.
If you would like to contact the House Immigration Subcommittee to tell them not to support the private bill (HR 2181) that will grant a green card to a convicted terrorist and tell them the facts of the case as opposed to the spin, contact the offices of the chairwoman and the ranking member:
Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, chairwoman, at (202) 225-3072
Congressman Steve King, ranking member, at (202) 225-4426