x

Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 October 2018

Bangladesh upholds death sentence of Saudi diplomat's killer

The only option remaining for Saif ul Islam Mamun is a presidential pardon

Bangladesh police in Dhaka on May 16, 2018. AFP 
Bangladesh police in Dhaka on May 16, 2018. AFP 

The Bangladesh Supreme Court in Dhaka has upheld the execution of the man charged with the 2012 killing of Saudi diplomat Khalaf Al Ali.

Khalaf, 45, a Second Secretary at the Saudi embassy in the capital Dhaka, was shot down near his residence in the city's diplomatic enclave on March 6. It was the first case of a murder of a foreign diplomat in Bangladesh.

Saif ul Islam Mamun, the main perpetrator in the murder, filed a review petition in the Supreme Court against his death sentence after the court upheld the ruling in November last year, together with the life sentences of three others convicted in the murder.

In 2013, the High Court sentenced Mamun to death. Rafiqul Islam, Mohammad Al Amin and Akbar Ali Lalu were sentenced to life in prison for their involvement in the killing.

On Monday, a four-member bench of the Bangladesh Supreme Court, headed by the Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, ruled on the verdict for Mamun.

He is now only left with the option of presidential clemency if he is to avoid execution. If the president rejects a plea, the government will announce the date of his execution.

The country’s Attorney General Mahbubey Alam said: “Now, there is no bar towards executing the verdict against convict Saiful Islam Mamun.”

Khalaf Al Ali had served for two years as head of citizens' affairs and was living alone in his apartment and used to go on walks every night. Earlier in his career, he worked in Azerbaijan for seven years. He was set to take up a posting in Jordan.

More than two million Bangladeshi workers are working in Saudi Arabia, which is a key ally of the South Asian country and a major donor.

In October 2011, Saudi Arabia executed eight Bangladeshi workers in public for involvement in armed robbery. Dhaka and the United Nations criticised the beheading.