Police claim journalist Shafik Rehman named three others

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Police yesterday claimed that journalist Shafik Rehman disclosed the names of at least three more people involved in the alleged plot “to kidnap and kill Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s son Sajeeb Wazed Joy”.

“He [Shafik Rehman] revealed the names of at least three people. We are verifying the information. They will be arrested if we find evidence against them,” Monirul Islam, additional commissioner of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police, told reporters in city’s DMP media centre.

He did not name any of the trio but claimed that they were Bangladeshis and had links with BNP politics.

Some of them live in Bangladesh and some abroad, he said.

Shafik, who is now on a five-day remand in the second phase, also gave police vital information about the source of money which had been sent to the US for gathering information on Joy, police claimed.

“Shafik Rehman told us that $30,000 was paid for getting documents [with information on Joy],” Monirul said, adding that $10,000 was sent on behalf of the journalist.

Replying to a query, the police official said if allowed, they would interrogate daily Amar Desh Editor Mahmudur Rahman separately first.

“If needed, we will interrogate them [Mahmudur and Shafik Rehman] together.”

Recently, police have appealed to a Dhaka court for showing Mahmudur arrested in the case filed over the alleged plot. The court is to hold a hearing on the matter today.

Mahmudur, a pro-BNP journalist, has been behind bars since April 2013.

On April 16 this year, plainclothes detectives arrested Shafik Rehman at his Eskaton Garden Road house in the capital. The same day, he was placed on a five-day remand in the case.

Later, police claimed that the veteran journalist admitted having more than one meeting with those in the US allegedly involved in the plot to abduct and kill Joy, who lives in the US.

On Friday, a Dhaka court placed Shafik Rehman on a fresh five-day remand.

Police have also claimed that Shafik Rehman admitted meeting four people, including three convicted by a US court over bribing an FBI special agent to collect confidential information. The three are US-Bangladesh citizen Rizve Ahmed Caesar, former FBI special agent Robert Lustyik and his “contact” Johannes Thaler.

Taleya Rehman, Shafik Rehman’s wife, denied the allegations against her husband.

According to the case statement, Caesar’s father Mamun and some top leaders of the BNP and its allies met in the UK, the US and various places of Bangladesh before September 2012 and conspired to abduct and kill the PM’s son.

In March last year, Caesar was convicted by a US court for bribing an FBI special agent to collect information regarding a Bangladeshi political figure.

The US Justice Department did not name the figure, but it is believed to be Joy.

In a Facebook post on March 9 last year, Joy, also ICT affairs adviser to the prime minister, accused BNP leaders of conspiring to abduct and kill him.

Shafik Rehman, who also holds British citizenship, worked in various media outlets, including the BBC, but came in the limelight after becoming editor of the weekly Jaijaidin in the 1980s.

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