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Rachel 03-17-2005 10:06 PM

Bangladesh - Mistaken Identity Led to Death Sentence?
BANGLADESH (March 17):

Name mix up puts man on death row

A Bangladeshi with the same nickname as a murder suspect was mistakenly tried and given the death sentence for a crime he did not commit, his lawyers told a court Wednesday.

The lawyers launched a petition in the High Court asking for Shah Alam Babu to be acquitted due to the alleged mix-up.

"We have petitioned the court for him to be freed on the grounds that somehow one person was accused but another person was summoned to court and tried for the crime," said lawyer Elina Khan of the Society for the Enforcement of Human Rights.

Both men share the same nickname "Babu". The word means baby or small boy in Bengali and is commonly used.

"It is not clear how this situation came to be but it is true that they both have the same name. We have investigated the case and are convinced that there has been a miscarriage of justice,'" she added.

The victim's widow, Rokeya, said the man tried in the case was not the man she had accused.

"I told the judge that they were sentencing an innocent man to death while the real killer of my husband was roaming freely in the city," she told AFP.

"I've been telling the same truth since the case began and I have given written statements to the investigating officer and to the court."

Rokeya's husband Gazi Liaquat Hossain was shot dead in March 1998 after leaving his house in the capital Dhaka.

She said she registered a case with police accusing a man named Sundar Babu on the basis of eyewitness accounts of the killing.

But when the trial began she discovered that another man, Shah Alam Babu, was in the dock. He was convicted and given the death penalty by a court in Dhaka last August.

(source: Agence France Presse)

swtmel 03-17-2005 10:11 PM

Man I hate to hear that this is happening. I will be keeping them in my thoughts that is for sure. I hope that this mistake can be fixed before another innocent person is put to death. Thank you for this amazing article ladyarkles! :D

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