Bangladeshis convicted of murder appeal against death verdict

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Dubai, Feb 17 (UNI) Eight Bangladeshi workers who were sentenced to death for killing an Egyptian national in Saudi Arabia have appealed against the verdict in a higher court.

Bangladesh asked its embassy in Riyadh to plead for royal clemency on behalf of the workers.

Altogether, 14 Bangladeshis were indicted in the murder of an Egyptian national last year. The court sentenced three of the suspects to prison terms while the remaining three are at large, the Arab News reported.

''The Bangladeshi Embassy is exerting all efforts to find out more details about the case,'' SM Haroon-ur Rashid, an embassy spokesman, said yesterday.

''The accused workers have already made an appeal for judicial review, while the embassy is ascertaining the status of the case in which three other Bangladeshis have been handed down 12 years' rigorous imprisonment,'' he added.

Bangladeshi Foreign Secretary Touhid Hossain has already instructed the Bangladeshi Embassy in Riyadh to approach the Saudi government for seeking clemency for the eight men sentenced to death.

A Bangladeshi embassy official downplayed media reports about the murder trial, saying that these cases are negligible considering the large number of Bangladeshis living and working in Saudi Arabia.

Recently, a group of Saudi nationals called for a ban on Bangladeshi workers, citing their increasing criminal records.

Kuwait and Qatar have already banned recruiting Bangladeshis for the same reason.

''We see Saudi Arabia as one of our closest friends and ally and I am sure if there are any problems, they can be amicably resolved,'' said the embassy spokesman, accusing media of drum beating on a few criminal cases involving his compatriots.

UNI XC SKB YA KP1004

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