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President refuses to pardon Bangabandhu killer Abdul Mazed after he begs for his life

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President Md Abdul Hamid has thrown out the appeal for mercy by Abdul Mazed, the death row killer of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, removing the last hurdle to the former serviceman's hanging.

Hamid rejected Mazed`s plea after it reached the president`s residence on Wednesday night, hours after the convict filed the petition, a Bangabhaban source confirmed to bdnews24.com.  

The jail authorities earlier said they sent the former army captain`s petition for clemency to the home ministry.

``We are waiting for the next order. We are ready to execute whatever order we get,`` Additional Inspector General of Prisons Col Md Abrar Hossain told bdnews24.com in the evening.

Earlier in the day, a Dhaka court issued a death warrant against Mazed, opening the way for his execution.

The jail authorities read out the death warrant to him at the Dhaka Central Jail in Keraniganj.

He was arrested in Mirpur on Tuesday, four and a half decades after the murder.

The death sentence could be executed any day between Apr 21 and 28, according to the lawyer Mosharraf Hossain Kazol, one of the lawyers for the state in the Bangabandhu murder case.

Kazol said Mazed had already lost the scope of appealing against the death sentence for him being a fugitive from justice.

His only option to save his neck was the presidential clemency.

As the president has refused to pardon him, the jail authorities will now arrange a meeting with his family before the execution.

His wife Saleha Begum, who lives with their four daughters and a son at their home in the Dhaka Cantonment, told bdnews24.com they had not heard from the jail authorities.  

The almost effortless arrest of Mazed comes when the country is on lockdown and the police are on the streets to ensure that people stay at home and avoid the risk of infection amid a novel coronavirus outbreak.

He was believed to be in India for over two decades following the return of the Awami League to power in 1996, which opened the path towards the trial of the killers of Bangabandhu and most members of the family on Aug 15, 1975.

The assassins also enjoyed over two decades of indemnity due to a law passed by Ziaur Rahman, the first military ruler of Bangladesh. Mazed was awarded a big position during General Ziaur Rahman as well.

He was condemned to death along with 14 others in 1998. The High Court upheld the death sentence of 12 and finally five were hanged in 2010.  -- bdnews24.com

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