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Hasina arrest part of legal procedure, says government

The Bangladesh government has defended the detention of former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina saying that had she not been arrested, it would have been necessary to declare her absconding.

world Updated: Jul 17, 2007 15:44 IST

The Bangladesh government has defended the detention of former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina saying that had she not been arrested, it would have been necessary to declare her absconding.

Law Adviser Mainul Hosein said on Monday that the arrest was conducted following a 'primary investigation' and because a charge sheet had to be filed in the case.

"Had Hasina not been arrested, it would have been necessary to show her as absconding," Mainul Hosein told the media, New Age newspaper said on Tuesday.

Hasina was arrested early on Monday on charge of extortion on a complaint by a businessman who claimed to have paid Taka 29 million ($500,000 approximately) to get a project cleared when she was the country's prime minister (1996-2001).

Meanwhile, the military-led authorities seized a Mercedes Benz sport utility vehicle (SUV), a laptop, some compact discs, two mobile phone sets and some documents from Hasina's residence.

"The seizure was made during the one and a half hour search by the joint forces in the residence starting from 8 am," Monwar Hossain, officer-in-charge of Dhanmondi police station said.

The high officials from different intelligence agencies took the seized materials from the Dhanmondi police station for examining, police sources told The Daily Star newspaper.