DHAKA, Aug 26 The deportation and detention of an American man from Bangladesh to the US three years ago was unlawful because no extradition treaty existed between the two countries, a court in Dhaka ruled on Wednesday.

American-born Ehsanul Islam Sadequee, 23, who is of Bangladeshi origin and was earlier this month convicted on terror charges in the US, was deported soon after his arrest in Dhaka in April 2006.

Lawyer Faisal H Khan said the high court in Dhaka had ruled that authorities had acted 'unlawfully' by detaining Sadequee and handing him over to Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI) officers.

“The high court ruled that Sadequee was legally staying in Bangladesh...The entire process in which (he) was extradited was ruled illegal and unlawful,” he said, adding that Bangladesh did not have any extradition treaty with the US.

Khan said that, although it was unlikely Sadequee's 2006 extradition would be reversed the verdict was important for future cases.

“Governments will think twice about deporting people in cases where there is no extradition treaty between the countries,” he said.

The ruling came after Sadequee's Bangladeshi wife filed a petition that her husband's detention and deportation were illegal. The pair were married in March 2006.

On August 12 Sadequee was found guilty by a federal jury in Atlanta, Georgia of supporting terror groups by sending abroad videos of US landmarks and plotting “violent jihad” in Europe.

Sadequee, who represented himself in his trial, will be sentenced in October and faces up to 60 years in prison.

During Sadequee's trial, prosecutors said he and his co-conspirators developed relationships over the Internet and maintained contact online, along with other “supporters of violent jihad” in the US, Canada, Britain, Pakistan, Bosnia and elsewhere.—AFP

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