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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 October 2007, 08:47 GMT 09:47 UK
Ex-Bangladesh PM Zia denied bail
Khaleda Zia waves at her supporters after being arrested
Khaleda Zia is also facing charges of tax evasion
The Supreme court in Bangladesh has overturned a ruling made by a lower court to free former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia on bail.

The court upheld an appeal by the army-backed interim government.

The decision means that Ms Zia must remain in detention on extortion and corruption charges which she rejects.

Ms Zia's bitter political rival - former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina of the Awami League - is also being held on charges of extortion and murder.

Bangladesh has been under emergency rule since January, when the interim government cancelled elections. It has banned most political activity.

The interim government has arrested around 150 politicians in what it says is a crackdown on corruption.

KHALEDA ZIA KEY FACTS
Born 1945
Marries national hero General Ziaur Rahman in 1960, who was assassinated in 1981
1991-1996: Country's first female prime minister
Prime minister again from 2001 to 2006
September, 2007: Arrested and charged with corruption

Prosecuting lawyers insist that that following Thursday's Supreme Court order, the trial of Khaleda Zia will go ahead.

She and her son Arafat Rahman were arrested early last month over allegations of fraud in relation to the award of a cargo-handling contract in 2003.

The High Court over the weekend ordered her to be freed on bail and the charges against her to be dropped.

It ruled that the charges were not lawful because she could not be tried under special emergency laws for an offence committed before the imposition of emergency in January this year.

But the army-backed caretaker government, which has vowed to rid the country of corruption before elections next year, filed an appeal on Tuesday against the order.



SEE ALSO
Bangladesh ex-PM loses bail plea
27 Aug 07 |  South Asia
Bangladesh ex-PM formally charged
24 Jul 07 |  South Asia
Police arrest Bangladeshi ex-PM
16 Jul 07 |  South Asia
Bangladesh at a crossroads
05 Apr 07 |  South Asia
Country profile: Bangladesh
05 Jun 07 |  Country profiles

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