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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 March 2007, 06:37 GMT
Bangladesh detentions extended
By John Sudworth
BBC News, Dhaka

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More than 30 high-ranking politicians and businessmen in Bangladesh arrested on charges of corruption have had their detention extended for another month.

The detainees include former cabinet ministers, political advisers and bureaucrats arrested last month.

All their bail applications have been refused by a court.

The interim government has made tackling graft a priority and a precondition for the restaging of January's cancelled general election.

The list of those now being accommodated by the Bangladeshi prison system includes some of the most wealthy and powerful men in the country.

Tackling graft

Former ministers for power, civil aviation and tourism, labour and manpower and communications have been detained, along with politicians and advisers close to the former prime ministers from both the main parties.

The announcement that they are to spend at least another 30 days behind bars is a sign that the new government appears determined to investigate the corruption charges against them.

In the first two months of emergency rule it has made tackling graft a priority and a precondition for the restaging of January's cancelled general election.

The security forces have also seized a number of luxury cars and frozen the bank accounts of many of the accused.

In January, the new head of Bangladesh's interim government Fakhruddin Ahmed vowed to crack down on the corruption and violence which he said was undermining the country's democracy.


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