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Bangladesh: Sheikh Hasina charged with murder
April 11, 2007 18:47 IST
Last Updated: April 11, 2007 20:11 IST
Former Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed has been charged with the murder of four supporters of a rival party during street violence in Dhaka in October, 2006, police said on Wednesday, a day after it was announced that a high-power task force will oversee probe into graft charges against her.
59-year-old Hasina, the head of the main opposition Awami League, had left Bangladesh for the US after the military-backed interim government declared a state of emergency in January.
Leaders of her party said on Tuesday that she planned to return home soon to face the corruption charges.
Besides Hasina, 46 members of her party have been accused of murder. It was not clear what role the former prime minister played in the killings allegedly carried out by her supporters.
The case against Hasina, who was prime minister from 1996 to 2001, is expected to come up for hearing later in April.
The incident had taken place when the party was demonstrating about the make-up of the caretaker government in October 2006.
Ten leaders of the Jamaat-e-Islami party, which was part of the immediate past prime minister Khaleda Zia-led ruling alliance, have also been charged separately with being involved in violence.
The murder charges came two days after Hasina, who also fronts the 19-party opposition alliance, was accused of extortion of 30 million taka (USD 434,000) by a Bangladeshi head of a Malaysian-owned firm.