Hasina leaves Bangladesh for treatment abroad

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Dhaka, Jun 12: Former Bangladesh Prime Minister and Awami League President Sheikh Hasina left here today for London en route to the US and Canada to get medical treatment and meet her children. Ms Hasina would get treatment for her ears, damaged under the impact of grenade attacks on her public rally in Dhaka on August 21, 2004. Her hearing aid became dysfunctional in jail.

Ms Hasina, who was Prime Minister from 1996-2001, was arrested on July 16 last year in connection with a graft case during an anti-corruption crackdown on politicians by incumbent military-backed caretaker government. She was released from a makeshift jail yesterday for an interim period of eight weeks for medical treatment abroad.

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On Monday, special courts exempted the former premier from personal attendance during trial proceedings in four cases of extortion and corruption following applications from her lawyers for her treatment.

An official handout last night said the government would also take appropriate steps for treatment of detained Prime Minister (2001-06) Khaleda Zia at home and abroad. Ms Khaleda was also arrested in September last year in connection with a graft case.

The government also assured proper treatment of Ms Khaleda's two sons, who were also detained on charges of corruption.

Education and Commerce Adviser Hossain Zillur Rahman told reporters that the government measures were aimed at building mutual trust with big political parties ahead of general elections slated for the third week of December this year.

Dr Hasan Mahmud, a close aid to Ms Hasina, told reporters the former Prime Minister would meet her younger sister Sheikh Rehana at Heathrow airport in London on way to Boston where she would meet her son Sajiv Wazed Joy. She would then fly to Canada to meet her daughter Saima Wazed Putul. She would undergo ear treatment in Florida.

UNI

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