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Arrest warrant against Khaleda's son in money laundering case

world Updated: Oct 31, 2010 20:58 IST
Khaleda Zia

A Bangladesh court on Sunday issued an arrest warrant against the controversial younger son of former Prime Minister and main Opposition leader Khaleda Zia in connection with a money laundering case.

The Special Judge's Court-3 issued the arrest warrant Arafat Rahman Koko, now in Bangkok for treatment.

The court fixed November 30 for the next hearing against the son of Zia, the supremo of the main Opposition party Bangladesh Nationalist Party, the Daily Star online reported.

Koko was arrested on September 2, 2007 in connection with the Gatco corruption case and was later released on parole for treatment. The Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) filed the case against Koko on March 17, 2009 under the Money Laundering Prevention Act.

The ACC accused Koko for laundering Singapore dollars 28,84,000 and USD 9,32,000. On October 13, the court deferred the charge framing against Coco and Ismail Hossain Simon, son of former shipping minister Akbar Hossain, to the end of the month, media report said.

Zia's son has been in Bangkok on parole since July 19, 2008 after his release on bail. He had secured an eight-week parole for treatment abroad. The relations between the ruling Awami League and the BNP has deteriorated as the main Opposition has been accused of trying to shield radical Islamist leader blamed for genocide and siding with the Pakistani military during the 1971 'Liberation War'.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asked her arch rival Zia not to push the country into chaos by continuing to speak against the war crimes trial.

On March 25, the ruling Awami League government set up a special tribunal for the trial of "war criminals" accused of genocide and those who sided with the Pakistani military during the 1971 'Liberation War'.

Jamaat and several other rightwing groups have been accused of helping the Pakistani military.

The Jamaat was a major partner of a 2001-2006 coalition government headed by Hasina's longtime political rival Zia.

Five of Jamaat's top leaders, including its chief Motiur Rahman Nizami and Secretary General Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojahid, Delwar Hossain Sayeedi, Muhamad Qamaruzzaman and Abdul Kader Mollah are under detention since August this year to face trial on charges of "crimes against humanity".

Nizami and Mojahid led the so-called Al-Badr forces, which is widely believed to have been involved in genocide, rape and murder of frontline intellectuals in an effort to cripple the emerging nation.

According to official figures, Pakistani troops, aided by local collaborators, killed an estimated 3 million people, raped about 200,000 women and forced millions more to leave their homes during the bloody nine-month guerrilla war.

On March 26, 1971, Bangladesh - then East Pakistan -declared its independence from West Pakistan.