B'desh SC stays HC judgement against Hasina

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Dhaka, Feb 26: The Bangladesh Supreme Court today stayed a High Court judgement that had quashed the trial proceedings in an extortion case against the country's former prime minister Sheikh Hasina, who is now in jail.

A six-member Appellate Division of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice M Ruhul Amin allowed the government to file an appeal against the High Court's February 6 judgement that had also declared illegal the trial of Hasina under the Emergency Power Rules (EPR). The Supreme Court fixed March 16 for hearing of the government appeal. The court in its order however stayed the trial proceedings of the three crore Taka extortion case at lower court until disposal of the appeal.

Hasina who ruled the country from 1996 to 2001 as Prime Minister was arrested on July 16 last year in link with the extortion case filed by chief executive of a local power company Azam J Chowdhury.

The military-backed caretaker government also filed several other cases of corruption against Hasina and her arch rival, immediate past prime minister Khaleda Zia.

Zia who ruled the country till 2001 as Prime Minister was arrested on September 3 last year. Her two sons were also arrested in connection with corruption.

Both the former prime ministers are now detained in makeshift jails set up in highly secured Parliament building complex.

Since assuming the office on January 12 last year under a state of emergency, the caretaker government headed by chief advisor Fakhruddin Ahmed cracked down on "corrupt' politicians, businessmen and bureaucrats to clean the domestic politics ahead of General Elections slated for December this year.


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