September 2, 2008

Bangladesh Ex-PM Zia’s Son Likely to Be Released – Jail Official

Text of report by Bangladesh's ATN Bangla TV on 2 September

[Presenter: Lopa Hossain] Detained Senior Secretary-General of BNP [Bangladesh Nationalist Party] Tarique Rahman will be released on bail any time today, a senior jail official has said. DIG [Deputy Inspector-General] of Prisons Maj Shamsul Haider Siddiqui last night met Tarique Rahman [elder son of ex-PM Khaleda Zia]. Later he told reporters that they have already received documents of bail granted to Tarique in six cases. They are expecting bail document of another case will reach them this morning.

[Siddiqui] We are expecting [the bail document] by tomorrow morning. We have talked to his [Rahman's] lawyers and they are taking steps to expedite the process. So, we are expecting the bail document by tomorrow morning and we will expedite the process of examining the document. If there isn't any other complication he will be released soon.

[Rahman was granted bail in all 12 cases filed against him. One case against him was quashed by the court. Tarique, arrested by the army-led joint forces on 7 March 2007, is now undergoing medical treatment at a state-owned hospital in Dhaka. He had been charged in scores of cases of graft, extortion and bribery linked to murder. Since his arrest he was denied bail in all the cases by all courts. But recently the High Court and Appellate Division granted him bail and the prosecutors representing the government and Anti-Corruption Commission did not contest the bail petitions.

Originally published by ATN Bangla TV, Dhaka, in Bengali 0400 02 Sep 08.

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