Joy Rahman arrested for murder in Bangladesh
Published: 31 Mar 2008 11:26 GMT+02:00
Updated: 31 Mar 2008 11:26 GMT+02:00
Rahman served eight years of a life sentence following a 1994 conviction for a murder in Sätra, south of Stockholm.
Sweden’s Supreme Court later granted him a new trial and he was acquitted in May of 2002.
Rahman is being held in Gopalgonj, a few hours by car from the Bangladeshi capital of Dahka.
“He has let it be known that he has made contact with the Swedish Embassy, which has asked the court for permission to meet him. As soon as we’ve been granted approval, we’ll go there,” said Swedish Foreign Ministry spokesperson Anders Jörle to the TT news agency.
The Foreign Ministry’s role under such circumstances is to ensure the Swedish citizens are handled appropriately and have access to an attorney who can safeguard their interests.
According to the newspaper Aftonbladet, Rahman and three other men are suspected of murdering the treasurer of Rahman’s aid organization three years ago. Rahman built up the charity using funds from the record-large damages settlement he received from the Swedish state after he was freed by the Supreme Court.
Peter Althin, who represented Rahman in his retrial, is now trying to get information about what has happened to his former client.
“The situation is unclear and I don’t really know anything about the new case. It’s just too early to say whether I will travel down to Bangladesh and help him there,” said Althin.
Althin was heavily engaged in Rahman’s case in Sweden.
“I know him very well so I’m very interested in following how these new events unfold,” said Althin.
Rahman, who worked as a personal-care aid, was sentenced to life in prison in 1994 for the murder of a 72-year-old woman in Sätra. The was one of the public sector home care agency’s patients. She had been strangled with a noose and the murderer then tried to burn the body, but the flames later petered out.
The Supreme Court granted Rahman a retrial in 2002 and he was exonerated by the Stockholm Court of Appeals following a new hearing.
Having been deprived of his liberty for eight years, he was awarded 10.2 million kronor ($1.7 million at current exchange rates).
At the time, it was the largest damages claim ever awarded in Sweden.
Rahman used a large part of the money to build up the Joy Rahman Welfare Foundation, which provides healthcare and micro-loans to the poor in Rahman’s birthplace of Gopalgonj.