Govt asked to show cause in Hasina extortion case
Friday, 29 August 2008

Former prime minister Sheikh HasinaStaff Correspondent

The High Court on Thursday asked the government to explain why the proceedings of a Tk 3 crore extortion case against former prime minister Sheikh Hasina should not be declared illegal.

The bench of justices Khademul Islam Chowdhury and Mashuk Hossain Ahmed ordered the government to show cause within the next six weeks.
 
The High Court had already quashed the case once, ruling on Feb 6 that the case against Hasina was illegal for being tried under emergency powers rules.
 
The Appellate Division, on a government appeal, overturned the High Court ruling on May 8, allowing proceedings of the case to continue in trial court.
 
The trial is now ongoing at the court of Special Sessions Judge Md Ashraf set up at the Sangsad Bhaban, with plaintiff Azam J Chowdhury being cross examined.
 
Businessman Chowdhury filed the case with Gulshan police on June 13 last year against Sheikh Hasina and her cousin former health minister Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim.
 
Later charges were also pressed against Hasina's sister Sheikh Rehana.
 
However, Chowdhury later told media that he had never met Hasina on the issue, let alone bribe her.
 
The case alleges while the Awami League was in power the accused persons took Tk 2.99 crore in bribes in 2001 in exchange for landing the work of setting up Siddhirganj power station project.
 
Hasina was arrested on July 16 last year and was shown arrested in the case, the same day, after the case was brought under EPR.
 
The government released Hasina on parole for eight weeks on June 11. She is currently in the US seeking medical treatment.

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