Court denies bail to Bangladesh ex-premier Hasina

October 30th, 2008 - 6:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Dhaka, Oct 30 (DPA) Bangladesh’s Supreme Court Thursday denied bail in a graft case to former prime minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed, now paroled for medical treatment abroad.A five-member appellate division bench headed by Chief Justice MM Ruhul Amin passed the order during a hearing into the case filed by a businessman last year.

The court order came at a time when the country’s major political parties were preparing for December’s general election with a fear that Hasina of the Awami League and her fellow former prime minister Khaleda Zia of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, both of whom face corruption charges, might be kept away from the election fray.

The parties have been warning the interim government they might boycott the election if their top leaders are barred from the polls.

The government said the archrivals would be able to contest the election unless a court convicts them.

Hasina’s attorney Shafik Ahmed said the court ruling was unexpected, adding, “The court is allowing convicted people bail, but our appeal has been rejected.”

But the government lawyer Salauddin Ahmed said the rejection of the appeal came on the basis of a majority ruling by the judges.

In late September, the high court rejected Hasina’s request for bail and she appealed to the Supreme Court.

Hasina is implicated in five graft cases since the present interim administration of Fakhruddin Ahmed took over in January 2007 in the wake of political turmoil.

She was detained July 16, 2007 and was given a temporary release June 11 this year to seek medical treatment abroad.

Zia, who has also been implicated in a number of graft cases, was released from jail on bail Sep 11 after nearly a year of detention.

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