Bangladesh court orders arrest of ex-premier's son

AP News
Posted: Jul 03, 2011 12:21 PM
Bangladesh court orders arrest of ex-premier's son

A court in Bangladesh issued an arrest warrant Sunday for a son of ex-premier Khaleda Zia over a 2004 grenade attack that killed 24 people at an opposition rally.

Dhaka's chief metropolitan magistrate ordered the arrest against Tarique Rahman after police charged him with masterminding the attack in central Dhaka, government attorney Abdullah Abu said. Zia was the prime minister when the attack occurred.

More than two dozens of grenades ripped through the rally addressed by the then opposition leader Sheikh Hasina, who is now the prime minister, police said. Hasina survived the attack unhurt.

The investigators told magistrate Enamul Haq that Rahman planned the attack to eliminate political opponents. Rahman's party denies the allegation.

"This is a dirty ploy to tarnish the image of Zia's family," Mirza Fakhrul Islam, spokesman for Zia's main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party said. "We will hold street protests to condemn the charge."

Rahman, a central leader of the opposition party, has been living in London since 2008. He faces several other corruption charges.

Police also charged 17 other people, including several former security officials, with aiding Rahman in the alleged plan, lawyer Abu said. Most of the suspects are already in jail on corruption charges, Abu said.