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Bangladesh High Court stays proceedings in a corruption case against former


New Deldi : The Bangladesh High Court (HC) has stayed proceedings of an extortion case against former Prime Minister Sheikha Hasina at a country’s trial court until disposal of a rule pending in an HC bench.

A HC bench Thursday passed the order following an application filed by Hasina seeking stay on the case, Bangladesh’s leading English daily “The Daily Star’ reported Friday.

Following a writ filled by Hasina, the HC bench on July 30 last year issued a rule on the military-backed caretaker government to explain as to why the extortion case under the present Emergency Power Rules should not be declared illegal.

The HC also fixed January 21, 22, and 23 for trial of the case.

The trial court on January 13 this year framed charges against Hasina, her sister Sheikh Rehana and her cousin and former Bangladesh health Minister Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim in an extortion case filed by Managing Director of Eastcoast Trading Pvt Ltd Azam J Chowdhury on June 13, 2007.

Azam had accused Hasina and Selim of extorting money from him for “Siddhirganj Power Plant” in Bangladesh during her rule from 1996-2001.

Meanwhile, Hasina yesterday asked activists of her party — Awami League — to prepare for the next general elections to restore democracy in the country, The Daily Star reported.

Hasina passed on her message through acting Awami League President Zillur Rahman who was present at the court during consultations with her lawyers.

Hasina had earlier demanded election to parliament by March-April, this year. The elections, scheduled for January 2007, was postponed and emergency rules imposed in the country, following political turmoil. She has also expressed concern over soaring prices of essential items in the country, The Daily Star said.