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Police formally charges Hasina in extortion case

Bangladesh police formally announces former PM Sheikh Hasina and her expatriate younger sister with "extortion".

world Updated: Jul 24, 2007 18:21 IST

Bangladesh police on Tuesday formally charged former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her expatriate younger sister with "extortion", a week after the Awami League chief was arrested on a complaint by a businessman.

"The charge sheet has been submitted to the chief metropolitan magistrate court after investigations on the complain of businessman Azam J Chowdhury, "an official of the city's Gulshan Police Station told PTI.

The businessman had alleged that Hasina had extorted from him nearly Taka three crore when her government was in power from 1996 to 2001.

The official said in his complain that Chowdhury named Hasina and her cousin and former minister Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, also in jail now on other graft charges, while her younger sister Sheikh Rehana was found involved in the case during police investigations.

Magistrate Shamsul Alam accepted the charge sheet and set the hearing for August 15.
Hasina was arrested on the morning of July 16 from her residence and kept in a makeshift sub-jail at Parliament complex. She was allowed to meet her lawyer Abdul Matin Khosru on July 20 who said she "fears that she might not get justice as she might undergo a camera trial."

The government had in April barred the 60-year-old leader from entering the country but later relented and allowed her to fly in from London.

First Published: Jul 24, 2007 18:18 IST