Former Bangladesh Prime Minister arrested: aide

DHAKA, July 16, 2007 (AFP) – Former Bangladeshi prime minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed who led the country from 1996 to 2001 and faces charges of corruption and murder was arrested Monday, an aide said. “She has been arrested and taken away and is now being taken to the court,” Hasan Mahmud, personal secretary to Sheikh Hasina, told AFP.

Earlier more than 400 police and elite security forces surrounded Sheikh Hasina’s Dhaka residence.

Reports said aides were removed from the house, telephone lines cut and all roads in the immediate vicinity sealed off.
Hundreds of onlookers and journalists gathered nearby.

Sheikh Hasina, who is leader of the Awami League party, is the daughter of Bangladesh’s independence leader and first prime minister Sheikh Mujibur Rahman who was killed along with most of his family in a 1975 military coup.

Since January Bangladesh has been ruled by a military-backed emergency government which has vowed to clean up the country’s notoriously graft-ridden politics before holding elections by the end of 2008.

Sheikh Hasina faces a string of criminal charges including corruption and being responsible for the murder of four people who died in protests organised b