According to Majed, Zia’s gestures clearly indicated that he was linked to the coup leaders from “earlier period”
Sacked army captain Abdul Majed, hanged four months ago as a convict in Bangabandhu Murder Trial, had accused former military ruler Ziaur Rahman of extending his full support to the August 15, 1975 coup plotters, in a video statement ahead of his execution.
“He was fully supportive of them (killers) . . . he had direct patronization for them,” said Majed in the pre-execution video statement that he delivered while awaiting hangman’s noose in jail following his capture after he led a fugitive life for decades to evade justice.
According to the video statement obtained by BSS, he said Zia used to meet the assassins at Bangabhaban and the killers also used to contact him directly from the presidential palace where Majed stayed along with the fellow coup leaders after the August 15 carnage.
According to Majed, Zia’s gestures clearly indicated that he was linked to the coup leaders from “earlier period”.
The executed convict recalled that on August 15, 1975 morning Zia addressed the soldiers and officers at Dhaka Cantonment and asked the military rank and file to carry on their routine job and “do not bother about what happened last night”.
“Whatever has happened, has happened, we will have to accept it,” he quoted Zia as telling the military assembly on that day indicating that unless Zia would have issued such directive the military units particularly the infantry ones would opt for actions against the killers.
Majed said, Zia “definitely” had supports for the coup, “otherwise why he would voluntarily give such a motivational speech”.
Majed said nothing what is called military chain of command, existed in those days and the killers were enjoying all VIP treatments in Bangabhaban.
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The executed convict said he once met newly-installed army chief Zia at the cantonment to seek for him a civil service appointment abroad when the course of the discussions indicated that he was clearly siding with the coup leaders.
“It appeared obvious from his talks that he was supportive of the coup (August carnage),” Majed said.
According to Majed it was Zia who eventually arranged the refuge for the killers in Libya as they were forced to leave the country following a short-lived countercoup took place on November 3, 1975.
He said two of the killer officers had their fiancés to accompany them in Libya while their marriage documents were sent later from Dhaka with Zia’s help.
Majed said the coup plotters later were rewarded with promotions and diplomatic postings abroad though “it is true” that most of them were not “qualified for those appointments” and some being short service commissioned officers “not graduates even”.
He said while the killers were staying in Libya, Zia had sent the then major general Nurul Islam Shishu there to ask them about their preference regarding the foreign appointments as “prize postings”.