Viewing cable 07DHAKA880
Title: DETAINEES REMANDED INTO CUSTODY FOLLOWING LATEST

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
07DHAKA8802007-05-30 23:30:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Dhaka
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PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHKA #0880 1502330
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 302330Z MAY 07
FM AMEMBASSY DHAKA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4181
INFO RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0331
RUEHLM/AMEMBASSY COLOMBO 7948
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 1674
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU 9114
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 1716
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 9924
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA 0697
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHDC
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
UNCLAS DHAKA 000880 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM KGOV BG
SUBJECT: DETAINEES REMANDED INTO CUSTODY FOLLOWING LATEST 
SWEEP BY JOINT FORCES 
 
REF: DHAKA 867 
 
¶1. (SBU) SUMMARY. Several high-profile political figures 
appeared before judges on May 29 following their detention 
the day before.  Awami League General Secretary Abdul Jalil 
and former BNP Home Minister Lutfozzoman Babar were both 
remanded into custody for four days for interrogation about 
corruption and "threatening instability."  Meanwhile, another 
high-profile detainee, Guisuddin Mamun, claimed in a court 
statement that he had been secretly held by joint forces for 
two months and threatened with a "crossfire" death before 
being arrested officially in early March. END SUMMARY. 
 
DETENTIONS UNDER SPECIAL POWERS ACT 
=================================== 
 
¶2. (SBU) Over 30 political figures and businessman were 
arrested by joint forces troops on May 28.  Among those 
detained were Awami League General Secretary Abdul Jalil, 
former BNP Home Minister Lutfozzaman Babar, former Awami 
 
League parliamentarian (and cousin of Awami League president 
Sheikh Hasina) Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, and former 
president of the Federation of Bangladeshi Chambers of 
Commerce and Industry Abdul Awal Mintoo (reftel).  According 
to Law Adviser Mainul Hosein, the detentions were made under 
the preventative detention provisions of the Special Powers 
Act.  He also said not all of the detainees were being 
charged with corruption, that some were being held to gather 
information for other cases. 
 
¶3. (SBU) Several detainees, including Jalil and Babar, were 
brought before the court on the evening of May 29.  Jalil was 
accused of corruption as well as delivering "provocative" 
statements and trying to disrupt law and order.  Babar was 
accused of corruption and abuse of power, as well as 
possession of an illegal firearm.  The court remanded both 
into custody for four days for questioning. Other detainees, 
including Sheikh Selim and Abdul Awal Mintoo, were not 
brought before the court and police refused to disclose their 
status. 
 
TARIQUE CONFIDANT ALLEGES ABUSE, SECRET DETENTION 
============================================= ==== 
 
¶4. (SBU) Guisuddin Mamun, a businessman and confidant of 
Tarique Rahman, appeared before a judge on May 29 and claimed 
he had been held secretly for two months by joint forces 
before his official arrest on March 25.  Mamun appeared 
before a special court looking into charges that he had 
failed to file his wealth statement to the Anti-Corruption 
Commission.  In a written statement, he claimed he had been 
unable to file the statement because he was already in 
custody.  He also said he had been threatened with a 
"crossfire" execution by his interrogators. 
 
HASINA CONTINUES TO PROTEST 
=========================== 
 
¶5. (SBU) Sheikh Hasina continued to express publicly her 
indignation about the arrests.  Accusing the government of 
trying to divert attention from rising prices, she said the 
time limit for the state of emergency had now "expired," and 
demanded elections be held immediately. 
 
COMMENT 
======= 
 
¶6. (C) The law adviser's statement that some detainees are 
being questioned to develop information for other cases is an 
apparent reference to pending charges against Awami League 
president Sheikh Hasina and perhaps BNP chairperson Khaleda 
Zia.  The government is clearly working hard at multiple 
levels to build corruption charges against Hasina, and a 
journalist contact has told us that his newspaper was 
provided yesterday with an audio tape of Jalil's and Mintoo's 
interrogation in which they allegedly implicate Hasina. 
Events of the past few days suggest the government may be 
working up to arrest Hasina and then presumably Zia, perhaps 
in the very near future. 
BUTENIS