Son of former Bangladesh PM on trial for corruption
Mar 19, 2007 - 8:45:23 PM

Dhaka, March 19 - The trial of the elder son of former prime minister Khaleda Zia for corruption charges began Monday in the court of the chief metropolitan magistrate in capital Dhaka, officials said.

Tarique Rahman, 42, Zia's elder son, was facing criminal charges of extortion along with his personal aide Mia Nooruddin Apu who allegedly arranged the illegal transactions.

The charge sheet filed by the police claimed Rahman had threatened to stop the business of a real estate developer in Dhaka unless he paid him the equivalent of over $150,000 in local currency as extortion money.

Rahman has been blamed for amassing huge untaxed wealth abusing his relationship with the then prime minister in the last five years.

The security forces arrested Rahman on March 8 from his mother's residence after intelligence reports alleged network of illegal financial deals.

Following his arrest and intensive interrogation Rahman was sent to prison after his bail petition was turned down.

The non-party caretaker government, which took office in the wake of the declaration of a state of emergency two months ago, launched an anti-corruption drive that has led to the arrest of at least 150 political figures, including many from the erstwhile ruling Bangladesh Nationalist Party -, for suspected corrupt practices.

The BNP led coalition stepped down in October last after completing its five-year term to meet a constitutional demand.

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