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Sheikh Hasina granted bail

By Xinhua

Dhaka : The Bangladesh High Court Sunday granted bail to former prime minister Sheikh Hasina and stayed any further actions against her in a graft case.

A high court bench comprising Justice Shah Abu Nayeem Mominur Rahman and Justice Zubayer Rahman Chowdhury granted the bail on a writ petition from Hasina.

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) had filed the graft case against Hasina accusing her of taking kickbacks in a power-plant deal.

Hasina and six others were accused of taking money and helping a foreign company and its local partner in setting up three barge-mounted plants.

Hasina was arrested July 16 and detained in a special jail in the national parliament building complex in connection with an extortion case involving 29.9 million taka ($427,000).

Hasina was in power from 1996 to 2001 and is the president of Awami League, one of the two major parties of Bangladesh.

The current military-backed caretaker government installed in January this year has declared a war on corruption to clean up politics before holding general elections before the end of 2008.

Another former prime minister Khaleda Zia was arrested in a corruption case Sep 3.

Nearly 200 high-profile political leaders have so far been arrested on charges of corruption, extortion and abuse of power.