Bangladesh Supreme Court refuses to bail out corrupt politicians

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Dhaka, April 23 : In what can be termed as another nail in the coffin for corrupt politicians arrested by the caretaker government in Bangladesh, that country's Supreme Court today ruled that they would not be entitled to bail until their trials are over.

"No court, including the High Court, has jurisdiction to grant bail to anyone arrested under emergency power rules," the Supreme Court said.

The apex court's decision virtually seals the immediate fate of former Prime Ministers Sheikh Hasina and Begum Khaleda Zia, both of whom were detained on various corruption charges last year.

The ruling came after the interim government appealed against a High Court action that granted "anticipatory bail" to a trader charged, under emergency rules, with selling adulterated edible oil in April last year.

Anticipatory bail is a bail granted in advance, so that police do not arrest the accused.

Bangladesh has been under a state of emergency since an army-backed interim government headed by former Central Bank Governor Fakhruddin Ahmed took over in January 2007, following deadly political violence.

The interim government's nationwide anti-corruption drive has so far netted over 170 political figures.

At least 40 of the detainees, including several former ministers, have been convicted and sentenced to various jail terms for corruption and abuse of power.

ANI

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