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Hasina freed as part of deal

Former Bangladeshi prime minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed was released from detention on corruption charges Wednesday as part of an apparent political deal between her party and the army-backed government.Hasina freed as part of deal

world Updated: Jun 11, 2008 22:02 IST

Former Bangladeshi prime minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed was released from detention on corruption charges Wednesday as part of an apparent political deal between her party and the army-backed government.

The leader of the Awami League party, who has been held on graft charges for almost a year, is to leave the country early Thursday for the United States, where she will be treated for hearing problems, her secretary said.

An Awami League official told AFP she will also hold talks with the government on Wednesday evening and the party would now be prepared to participate in elections scheduled for December.

“She is going to lead the talks,” said Awami League general secretary Syed Ashraful Islam. Earlier Wednesday, Sheikh Hasina left her jail in a heavily-guarded SUV, and was greeted by thousands of supporters gathered outside.

The government is trying to end a stalemate with the two main political parties, the Awami League and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).

Both parties had refused to hold talks to plan for an election at the end of the year because both of their leaders, Sheikh Hasina and the BNP leader Khaleda Zia, were detained.