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No relief for Hasina in extortion cases

world Updated: Aug 27, 2007 12:29 IST
PTI
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In a setback to former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Bangladesh's Supreme Court on Monday extended the stay on a High Court's ruling granting bail to the Awami League leader, arrested on charges of extortion by military-backed government during its massive anti-graft drive.

The full bench of the Appellate Division of the apex court headed by Chief Justice M Ruhul Amin, hearing a leave to appeal petition filed by the government, said the stay will continue till the High Court decides Hasina's plea challenging the move to charge her under the tough emergency rules in the trial court.

She had contended that the alleged incidents of extortion took place long before Emergency was promulgated in January this year.

Hasina, 60, was arrested on July 16 and kept in a makeshift jail at parliament complex, following complaints by Bangladeshi businessmen Noor Ali and Ajam J Chowdhury.

The Supreme Court, however, granted Hasina seven more days to submit her wealth statement to the Anti- Corruption Commission (ACC) as demanded earlier by the powerful anti-graft body.

The High Court had, while granting bail to Hasina on August, seven directed the government to explain why its decision to indict the ex-premier on two extortion charges under tough emergency powers rules "should not be declared illegal" and stayed a notice of the ACC seeking her wealth statement in another case.

Hasina's main lawyer Rafiqul Haq said they would now seek disposal of the petition in the High Court.