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Zia can be released: Fakhruddin Ahmed

world Updated: Jul 08, 2008 11:59 IST

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Emergency-ruled Bangladesh's interim government chief Fakhruddin Ahmed has said that his government was ready to release detained former prime minister Khaleda Zia, the way her arch-rival Sheikh Hasina was freed, reports said in Dhaka on Tuesday.

Sheikh Hasina, also an ex-premier, was released through a legal process for her treatment abroad and the government has issued notification in this regard, the private UNB news agency quoted Ahmed as saying at a meeting with Bangladeshi commus no hesitation about it," he said.

The chief adviser, now in the Malaysian capital to join a summit of D-8, a grouping of eight developing Muslim majority country, made the remarks responding to a question.

Both the ex-premiers were detained on various graft charges as part of a massive anti-graft campaign being spearheaded by the interim government since its installation with crucial military support in January 2007.

Hasina, who heads her Awami League party, was released temporarily in June for treatment in the United States for critical hearing impairment and other ailments including cardiac problems.

But Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chief Zia declined to be treated abroad as she was suffering from arthritis and rather demanded her detained ailing two sons be freed for treatment abroad.

Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) sued Zia and her elder son Tarique Rahman last week with a fresh graft charge of embezzling a foreign grant donated for orphanages.