Former Bangladeshi PM Charged With Corruption

Posted August 8th, 2011 at 12:00 pm (UTC-5)
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Former Bangladeshi Prime Minister Khaleda Zia and her family are under increasing pressure from the nation's anti-graft forces.

The country's Anti-Corruption Commission on Monday charged Ms. Zia with using undisclosed income to buy land for a charity named after her late husband, former President Ziaur Rahman.

Also Monday, a Bangladeshi court issued an arrest warrant for the former prime minister's eldest son, Tarique Rahman, for allegedly transferring millions of dollars overseas.

In June, Ms. Zia's younger son, Arafat Rahman, was sentenced to six years in jail on money laundering charges. Neither son lives in the country. Tarique Rahman is reportedly in Britain and Arafat Rahman is said to be in East Asia.

This is the first corruption case against the former prime minister since her rival, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, took office in January 2009.

Ms. Zia, who leads the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, was prime minister twice. Her party was crushed by Ms. Hasina's Awami League in the last parliamentary elections.

Politics in impoverished Bangladesh has been dominated for two decades by a violent rivalry between Ms. Zia and Ms. Hasina, who have often traded corruption charges and organized massive protests when in opposition.