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Ex-Bangladesh premier Hasina returns to contest polls

November 06, 2008 10:43 IST

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Former premier and Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina returned to Bangladesh on Thursday after five months of medical treatment in the United States to lead her party in general elections scheduled for next month.
     
An Emirates Airline flight carried her back home as nearly one lakh activists of her party packed the route to the airport to greet her.
    
The 61-year-old leader flew to the US on June 12 after being freed on an "executive order" for medical treatment for her critical hearing impairment after spending a year in custody on graft charges.
    
Hasina was cleared in the first graft case on Wednesday, filed against her as part of a massive anti-corruption campaign by the interim government.
    
The ex-premier, however, still faces four other graft charges, while her arch-rival and Bangladesh Nationalist Party chief Khaleda Zia is booked under at least four corruption cases. Zia was arrested on September 3, 2007 and was freed on bail granted by the High Court in September this year.
    
The election commission had, earlier, said that graft charges would not debar them from contesting the upcoming polls as they were yet to be convicted under the tough emergency power rules.
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