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Last Updated: Monday, 27 June, 2005, 16:00 GMT 17:00 UK
Ex-Bangladesh ruler's wife bailed
By Waliur Rahman
BBC News, Dhaka

Bidisha Ershad
Her lawyers say Ms Ershad is the victim of a political conspiracy
The estranged wife of ex-Bangladeshi military ruler, Gen Hussein Muhammad Ershad, has been freed on bail after spending three weeks in jail.

Bidisha Ershad was arrested earlier this month at her husband's Dhaka flat after Gen Ershad accused her of stealing and threatening his life.

The general, 73, has also accused her of not divorcing her previous husband before their marriage five years ago.

The government has also filed charges, including one of money laundering.

Bidisha Ershad, who was granted bail on all four cases, refused to comment as she was released.

"You see I'm sick and I will only speak to the journalists later," she told the BBC.

Faction

There has been no immediate comment on her release from the government or Gen Ershad, who has a son from his marriage with her.

Gen Hussein Muhammad Ershad
Gen Ershad says his wife is a bigamist

Her lawyers say she will stay with her sisters and father.

Ms Ershad was previously married to British national, Peter Wilson, with whom she has two sons.

Gen Ershad was also previously married - to Raushan Ershad, now an MP.

The former president now leads a faction of the opposition Jatiya Party.

Prior to her arrest, Bidisha Ershad had been expelled from the party in which she was a leading figure.

Her lawyers say she is the victim of a political conspiracy within the Jatiya Party.

According to party insiders, the government had put pressure on Gen Ershad because his wife was leading a faction that favoured forming an alliance with the main opposition Awami League.

The general denies this, saying the dispute is purely personal.

Bidisha Ershad had threatened to throw herself from the upper storey of Gen Ershad's apartment building before police managed to arrest her.



SEE ALSO:
Ershad returns to face trial
16 Feb 02 |  South Asia
Bangladesh's Ershad released on bail
09 Apr 01 |  South Asia
Ershad's parliamentary seat restored
06 Sep 00 |  South Asia
Bangladesh general wins reprieve
31 Aug 00 |  South Asia


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