Khaleda's youngest son released on interim bail

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Dhaka, Jul 17 (UNI) Bangladesh's detained former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia's youngest son Arafat Rahman Koko was released today on interim bail to facilitate his treatment abroad.

Home Affairs Adviser of the caretaker government Maj Gen (rtd) M A Matin said Koko was set free for eight weeks for his treatment 'on humanitarian grounds'.

Koko who is suffering from chronic respiratory complications was arrested along with his mother on September 3 last year in a corruption case.

The Home Affairs Advisor, however, did not said anything about the interim release of Khaleda and her eldest son Tarique Rahman who was arrested last year in several corruption cases.

Incumbent military-backed caretaker government headed by Chief Advisor Fakhruddin Ahmed after assuming the office in January last year rounded up nearly 200 former ruling Ministers, MPs and top businessmen on suspicion of corruption in a bid to clean politics.

Khaleda ruled the country twice as the Prime Minister after she was arrested in 1991 on charge of favouring a private Gatco company to handle containers in Dhaka and Chittagong.

Another ex-Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who ruled the country from 1996-2001 was arrested in July last year in connection with several corruption cases. However, she was granted interim release for eight weeks to treat her ears and eyes in America.

The government also offered Khaleda to avail the same facilities as she is suffering from arthritis but she wants her two ailing sons to be released first.

Adv Sanaullah said, ''Koko might be sent to Bangkok for his treatment.'' However, he said Koko's wife would take the final decision about his treatment.

UNI XC PD RAI1859

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