Sheikh Hasina indicted on extortion charges | world | Hindustan Times
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Sheikh Hasina indicted on extortion charges

world Updated: Jul 25, 2007 09:50 IST
Sheikh Hasina

A special court in Bangladesh has indicted former prime minister Sheikh Hasina for forcing a local businessman to pay her money in order to win a government contract.

Judicial officials on Tuesday said Hasina's younger sister Sheikh Rehana and cousin Sheikh Salim were also formally accused of extortion in the charge sheet submitted by police.

All the accused will stand trial for the offences, which were allegedly committed when Hasina was the prime minister of the country between 1996 and 2001.

Hasina and the two others accused were reportedly involved in a case of extortion involving about a quarter of a million dollars.

Hasina, 61, denied involvement in any kind of enforced collection of funds. She claimed the charges were fictitious and were levelled against her by political foes to smear her image.

The formal indictment followed her arrest on July 16 under emergency laws promulgated by the military-backed interim government.

Hasina has been interned in a house surrounded by security forces and isolated from her colleagues for the past five weeks.