Dhaka politicians ask courts to drop ‘motivated’ cases

May 1st, 2009 - 2:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Sheikh Hasina Dhaka, May 1 (IANS) With restoration of democracy after last December’s election, Bangladesh’s politicians are approaching the judiciary to drop criminal cases filed against them by the previous military-backed caretaker government, saying they were “politically motivated”.
A month after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina approached the court to drop 11 “politically motivated” cases against her and her associates, her political rival Khaleda Zia and her family members followed suit Thursday.

Former prime minister Zia and her two sons Thursday appealed to the government for withdrawal of 20 cases filed against them during 2007-08.

Zia stands accused of graft in four cases.

Both women leaders suffered imprisonment following institution of these cases.

Zia’s elder son Tarique Rahman faces 11 cases - seven of extortion, three of graft and one on tax evasion charges. Her younger son Arafat Rahman Koko is accused in five cases - three on graft and one each on money laundering and extortion charges.

Zia’s counsel Mahbub Uddin Khokon and other lawyers filed the petitions with the Dhaka district magistrate, The Daily Star reported.

Since the government’s move to review ‘politically-motivated’ cases, as many as 1,100 applications have been submitted to District Magistrate Zillar Rahman, the newspaper said.

The military-backed caretaker government of Chief Advisor Fakhruddin Ahmed had filed cases against several former ministers and lawmakers, businessmen and officials.

The number of those arrested as part or the drive against corruption, crime and terrorism had crossed 200,000 at one stage and the country’s jails were choked.

Filing of cases against politicians outside power is common in Bangladesh.

The newspaper quoted unnamed legal experts who said the cases where verdict has already been pronounced cannot be withdrawn.

Rafique-Ul Huq, a lawyer for both Hasina and Khaleda, told The Daily Star that withdrawal of a case depends on what stages it is on.

He said the courts concerned can consider dismissing a case even if charges are pressed against the accused.

Related Stories

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in Politics |