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Sheikh Hasina granted bail

world Updated: Jul 30, 2007 23:24 IST
Sheikh Hasina granted bail

The high court in Bangladesh on Monday granted bail to jailed former prime minister Sheikh Hasina and stayed legal proceedings against her in an ongoing corruption case, judicial officials said.

Hasina's legal counsel Shafique Ahmad said the verdict was a landmark victory for justice and democracy.

However, officials said the court order on releasing Hasina on bail would not be carried out immediately because of a second corruption case filed against her by police.

Hasina, who was prime minister for five years after winning a general election in 1996, denied the charges of extortion and abuse of power levelled by the military backed interim government against her.

She pleaded innocence accusing the government of harassing her with concocted criminal charges.

The bail was approved in response to a writ petition to the high court moved by Hasina's lawyers seeking her freedom.

Hasina was arrested by an army led joint forces from her residence in Dhanmondi residential district in the city and interned in a private home two weeks ago.

The 61-year-old politician heads the secular Awami League founded by her father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.