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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 March, 2005, 14:19 GMT
Court halts 'baby looter' trial
Bangladeshi babies accused of looting
The infants were bailed at $50 per child
Bangladesh's High Court has stepped in to halt the trial of four infants who were accused of looting and causing criminal damage.

Four police officers have been suspended for negligence in the case and an inquiry has been ordered.

The infants, who appeared in their parents' arms on Monday, were bailed.

The case has highlighted the widespread practice of harassing people by filing false complaints.

The High Court judges ordered nine people - including the home secretary and the inspector-general of police - to explain why the case should not be quashed altogether.

The suspended police officers and the man who made the original complaint have been summoned to appear before the court and could be prosecuted.

'Bit surprised'

The police deputy commissioner of the southern city of Chittagong , told the AFP news agency there would be a departmental inquiry into a case that appeared "false and fabricated".

"The plaintiff will face punishment if the case proves false," he said.

The infants, whose ages range from three months to two years, are all members of an extended family.

They were among 10 people named in the case filed with police.

Relatives said the allegations stemmed from a land dispute with a neighbour.

On Monday, magistrate Ali Noor told reporters he had been "a bit surprised" to see such young children in his court.

"Everything will come out during the police investigation and the report that will be submitted to the court later," he said.

The infants were bailed at $50 per child.





SEE ALSO:
Four babies and a criminal trial
01 Mar 05 |  South Asia
Country profile: Bangladesh
04 Jan 05 |  Country profiles


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