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Home > News > PTI

Court suspends arrest warrant against Sheikh Hasina

April 23, 2007 22:34 IST

A Bangladesh court on Monday suspended until April 28 the arrest warrant against former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

The warrant against Hasina was in connection with the murder of five rival activists. The stay comes shortly after police sought more time to probe the case even as last Premier Khaleda Zia packed her bags for a possible exile to Saudi Arabia.

Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Mir Ali Reza ordered the suspension a day after issuing the arrest warrants against Hasina, who is currently in London after visiting her son and his wife in the US.

Two other members of her Awami League party -- Mohammad Nasim and Abdul Malik. Sub Inspector Enamul Haq, who is the Investigating officer of the case, filed a plea before Metropolitan Magistrate saying the names of the three Awami League leaders were not mentioned in the FIR filed by fundamentalist Jamat-e-Islami party.

He said police needed to further investigate the case as names of several others could be included in the chargesheet.

Hasina and her party leaders were originally charged with the murder of five Jamat-e-Islami activists during a political clash on October 28 last year, the day when former Premier Khaleda Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led four-party alliance government relinquished power.

Hasina was on Sunday stopped by British government from returning to her country in the wake of the ban imposed on her comeback by the military-backed interim authorities in Dhaka.

British Airways declined to issue her a boarding pass despite having a valid ticket on the ground that Bangladesh government has banned her from setting her foot in the territory of that country.

Meanwhile, speculation is rife that Zia could be exiled to Saudi Arabia anytime. Newsmen kept a vigil at the international airport here as media reports said that a chartered plane was waiting to take Zia to Saudi Arabia.

However, her party members said she was unlikely to leave the country overnight. Bangladesh came under the military-backed emergency rule on January 11 amid heightened political tension after protracted conflicts between Hasina's Awami League and Zia's BNP.

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