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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 March 2007, 10:25 GMT
Bangladesh suspects denied bail
By John Sudworth
BBC News, Dhaka

Tarique Rahman outside the court
Mr Rahman is charged with extorting money
Bangladesh's military-backed government has announced further stringent powers to deal with corruption.

They include suspending the rights of those accused to seek bail. Dozens of politicians and businessmen have been detained over the past two months.

Law enforcers can also seize property or arrest corruption suspects without the prior approval of a court.

Bangladesh has been under a state of emergency since January, imposed in the wake of widespread political violence.

The violence resulted in the cancellation of general elections that were due to be held in January.

Stay in prison

The list of those arrested so far reads like a roll-call of Bangladesh's rich and famous - former cabinet ministers, high-profile businessmen, even Tarique Rahman, the influential son of former Prime Minister Khalida Zia.

The tightening of the emergency powers now means they are likely to remain in prison for the duration of the investigation of the corruption allegations against them, and any subsequent trial.

The change makes it almost impossible for any of those arrested to challenge the legality of their detention, as it has been given retrospective effect.

The interim government has vowed that the elections cancelled in January will go ahead, but not until it has tackled the rampant corruption at the heart of the political system.


SEE ALSO
Khaleda Zia's son is refused bail
13 Mar 07 |  South Asia
Bangladesh detentions extended
06 Mar 07 |  South Asia
Senior politicians held in Dhaka
25 Feb 07 |  South Asia

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