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Monday, September 03, 2007

Ex-Bangladesh PM Zia charged with corruption
Joshua Pantesco at 10:05 AM ET

[JURIST] Bangladeshi officials on Monday arrested former Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia [UN profile] and her son on corruption and misuse of power charges, one day after another ex-PM was charged with taking bribes [JURIST report]. Zia, who was in power until last October, is accused of failing to follow standard procedures in awarding a construction contract to a local company for two cargo terminals. Her son is accused of influencing her to award the contract. She has denied all charges and calls the arrest an attempt to tarnish her family's legacy.

The new interim government has arrested over 150 high-profile citizens since declaring a state of emergency [JURIST report] in January due to concerns that fraud would ruin national elections scheduled for January 22. Zia's rival, former PM Sheikh Hasina Wajed [party profile; JURIST news archive] has been charged by Bangladesh's anti-corruption commission [governing statute, PDF] with six counts of murder, corruption, and most recently, bribery [JURIST reports].

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