Sajeeb Wazed testifies in Dhaka court about plot to abduct and murder him

Five people, including journalist Shafik Rehman, face charges of conspiring to abduct and murder the prime minister's son

Published : 13 Nov 2022, 11:49 AM
Updated : 13 Nov 2022, 11:49 AM

Sajeeb Wazed Joy, the son of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, has given his testimony in court against five people in a case over a plot to abduct and murder him.

Joy, also the prime minister's ICT adviser, attended the hearing conducted by Dhaka Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Asaduzzman Noor on Sunday, according to public prosecutor Abdullah Abu.

So far, 10 of the 15 witnesses in the case have testified before the court. The case was filed with Paltan Police Station in August 2015.

Mohammad Ullah Mamun, vice-president of Jatiyatabadi Samajik Sangskritik Sangstha, a pro-BNP organisation, and other top-brass leaders of the BNP and its allies united at the group's office in Dhaka’s Paltan, New York, and the UK at some point before September 2011 to chalk out a plan to murder Joy after abducting him, according to the case dossier.

The other accused are Shafik Rehman, former editor of the Jai Jai Din, Mahmudur Rahman, acting editor of Bangla-language newspaper Amar Desh, Mamun's son Rizve Ahmed Caesar, and Mizanur Rahman Bhuiyan, a businessman living in the United States.

Rizve collected personal information on Joy from the US intelligence agency FBI and provided it to the other suspects, according to the chargesheet.

Similar accounts are mentioned in another court document, dealing with a case in which Rizve was handed a three-year jail term in 2015 after being found guilty of bribing an FBI official to obtain classified information.

The document indicated that he handed the information to a Bangladeshi journalist in return for $30,000.

The matter also triggered discussions in the Bangladesh parliament. Joy, who lives in the US with his family, accused BNP leaders of conspiring to ‘abduct and kill him’ in a Facebook post in March that year.

Police later pressed charges against the five suspects in February 2018.

Lawyers Kazi Najibullah Hiru and Abu Sayeed assisted the state at the hearing. No one quizzed Joy as all the accused are on the run.

Citing Joy’s testimony, Hiru said the US Department of Justice contacted the prime minister’s son and informed him that two FBI officials wanted to talk to him about a matter.

When Joy met the FBI agents, they asked if he knew Rizve, Mahmudullah, Shafik or Mahmudur. Joy said he did not know Rizve or Mahmudullah but heard the names of the newspaper editors.

The FBI then revealed that it had detained one of its officials on charges of taking $40,000 from Rizve and others and striking a deal with them to provide personal details of Joy, especially his location, in exchange for $30,000 a month.

FBI later arrested Rizve and learned that they had sought information to abduct and kill Joy, according to Joy’ testimony.

Joy later testified in a US court and learnt that Rizve was punished.

The prime minister’s son said the FBI advised him to be cautious and install CCTV cameras at his home. He later moved home for safety.

In his deposition, Joy demanded justice from the court.