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Last Updated: Monday, 4 June 2007, 04:30 GMT 05:30 UK
Top Bangladeshi to stay in jail
Abdul Jalil, in court in Dhaka, May 29, 2007
Jalil's lawyers stressed their client's ill health
A Bangladeshi politician has been detained in prison for a further 30 days following his arrest last month.

Abdul Jalil, the secretary general of the Awami League, was arrested during a continuing anti-corruption drive.

Dozens of top politicians have been detained since a state of emergency was declared in January.

It was declared by the military-backed caretaker administration which also suspended parliamentary elections that had been due in January.

It says it will hold the polls by late 2008, giving it time to deal with Bangladesh's endemic corruption.

A court in Dhaka ordered on Sunday that Mr Jalil should remain in custody for further questioning on charges of corruption and misuse of power.

Mr Jalil's lawyers asked the court to order the prison authority to pay particular regard to their client's poor health.

At least 60 members of parliament and former ministers face questioning under the state of emergency declared by the military-backed caretaker administration which took over in January.

The BBC correspondent in Bangladesh says the two rival former prime ministers, Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia, are looking increasingly isolated as many of their closest colleagues disappear behind bars.

Awami League leader Sheikh Hasina has denounced the latest detentions, saying they were an "autocratic move... directed more against politicians than corruption".

Sentenced in absentia

Last week, one of the most important figures in Khaleda Zia's government was given a three-year jail sentence.

Harris Chowdhury was found guilty by a special anti-corruption court set up by the interim government.

The sentence was imposed in absentia as he is in hiding. It was the first such sentence against a high-ranking politician.

The interim government has made tackling corruption its main objective.

Among the many prominent people under arrest is Ms Zia's influential elder son, Tarique Rahman. He was detained in March, accused of extorting $147,000 from a construction company. He has denied wrongdoing.




SEE ALSO
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21 May 07 |  South Asia
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Ex-Bangladesh PM arrives in Dhaka
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What next for Bangladesh dynasties?
26 Apr 07 |  South Asia
Opposition welcomes B'desh U-turn
26 Apr 07 |  South Asia
Q&A: Bangladesh crisis
26 Apr 07 |  South Asia

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