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Former Bangladesh Prez tries to strike a political deal

Political observers say aging politician Mohammed Ershad wants to strike a political deal with Zia and see the cases against him closed.

india Updated: Sep 11, 2006 11:51 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

Cases against former Bangladesh president Hussain Mohammed Ershad are being disposed quickly with the likelihood of his leading the Jatiya party into the ruling alliance, media reports here say.

Ershad has been acquitted in three cases since he met Prime Minister Khaleda Zia on July 2 and followed it up with another meeting with her son and political aide, Tareq Zia.

Political observers say the aging politician wants to strike a political deal with Zia and see the cases against him closed.

But while political parleys are on, these cases are being held as a bargaining point, reports have said.

Verdict in a case involving the allotment of plots of land to 49 people when he was the country's president (1982-90) is scheduled in a Dhaka court on Monday.

Announcement of the verdict was adjourned on its earlier scheduled date of August 27 as the court could not complete preparing the judgment.

The same court will also hear the gold smuggling case filed against the deposed president on September 20, Daily Star newspaper said.

The trial of the plot allotment case began in 1998. The court completed its hearing on Aug 13 this year and fixed August 27 for delivering the judgment.

On Aug 27, the same court adjourned the hearing of the gold smuggling case against Ershad until September 20 following a time petition from the prosecution.

Several cases were slapped against Ershad after he stepped down from the presidency in 1990, paving the way for parliamentary elections in 1991.

He has since spent over five years in jail and paid hefty amounts as fine. Ershad, 77, says the cases were instituted, and then kept pending to harass him.

First Published: Sep 11, 2006 11:51 IST