High Court grants Hasina bail, suspends trial

High Court grants Hasina bail, suspends trial
Dhaka, July 30 (PTI) Bangladesh' High Court today suspended the trial against former prime minister Sheikh Hasina on extortion charges and ordered her release on bail but the Awami League chief remained in detention after being charged in a similar case.

A bench comprising Justices Shah Abu Nayeem Muminur Rahman and Jubaer Rahman Chowdhury gave the ruling after hearing a writ filed yesterday by the Awami League chief, who was arrested on July 16, challenging her indictment in the case under the tough Emergency Power Rules.

Bangladeshi businessman Azam J Chowdhury had alleged last month that Hasina had "extorted" from him nearly Taka 3 crore while her party was in power in 1996-2001.

But the order came a day after a magistrate court in Dhaka accepted a police petition to show Hasina arrested in another extortion case.

The second case pertains to businessman Noor Ali who has alleged that the Hasina and several co-accused forced him to pay Taka 5 crore and offer two apartments in Dhaka during the Awami League regime.

The Court today also asked the government to explain in the next two weeks why her indictment should not be declared illegal since the incident took place long before the proclamation of the state of emergency on January 11 following which the Emergency rules came into effect.

It ordered authorities not to proceed with the case under the Emergency laws.

Hasina, who has been held in a make-shift jail in the parliament compound in the capital, earlier said the charges brought against her by a Bangladeshi businessman were "false" and part of a plot to "annihilate" her.

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