Instead of trying the assassins of Bangabandhu and four national leaders, Ziaur Rahman endowed them with a safe passage to overseas jobs, Prime Minister's ICT Affairs Adviser Sajeeb Wazed Joy wrote in his Facebook post Sunday.
That legacy was carried forward by his wife Khaleda Zia under whose directive Khairuzzaman, one of the killers, who had been sent to jail in 1996, was released in 2001.
Khaleda, then prime minister, also appointed him as the ambassador to Myanmar, Joy said.
Khairuzzaman – who enjoyed special privilege from the BNP-Jamaat alliance – had been posted to Egypt in 1975, following the assassination of Bangabandhu and four leaders.
Then Ziaur Rahman paved the path for his series of promotions in his job at the foreign ministry. He was even made the Bangladesh high commissioner to Malaysia, the ICT affairs adviser said.
Khairuzzaman was a formidable figure across the country in 1991, during the tenure of Khaleda Zia, even having his influence over the top officials in the administration. Owing to his rapport with Khaleda, he served as the acting ambassador to the Philippines till 1996.
But the curtain fell on the BNP's tenure in 1996 and the Awami League formed the government. Then Khairuzzaman was dismissed from his job as there was a charge sheet against him.
Then he was tried and imprisoned. Returning to power in 2001, the BNP-Jamaat alliance stopped the trial of the murders of Bangabandhu and four national leaders. Just after taking the oath as the prime minister, Khaleda Zia came up with the directives to release Khairuzzaman.
Under her directives, Khairuzzaman was first transferred to Bangabandhu Hospital from jail before getting released. Then he was promoted as the additional secretary and appointed as the ambassador to Myanmar. Finally, he fled from his workplace as the tenure of the BNP-Jamaat alliance came to an end, Joy said.