Khaleda Zia’s son freed on parole in Bangladesh

July 18th, 2008 - 12:21 am ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, July 17 (DPA) Arafat Rahman Koko, the younger son of jailed former prime minister Khaleda Zia, was released from prison in Bangladesh Thursday on an eight-week parole on humanitarian ground, home ministry officials said. “The government has ordered the temporary release from prison purely on humanitarian considerations,” said Home Affairs Adviser M. A. Matin after the military-backed regime decided to give the mother and son limited reprieve from detention.

An official announcement on Zia’s release was being delayed due to last minute differences between the government and her lawyers.

Zia, 65, who is also the chief of the last ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), was detained in September last to face charges of corruption and abuse of power in a special court.

Her businessman son Koko was suffering from a host of illnesses which have confined him to a prison hospital since his arrest more than a year ago for amassing wealth through illegal means.

Lawyers representing Koko said he would be flown to Bangkok shortly for treatment in a Thai hospital.

Earlier, another detained former premier Sheikh Hasina facing trial for extortion was freed on parole on medical grounds.

Bangladesh is being governed by an interim authority that took over in January 2007 following wide spread political violence.

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