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Bangladesh court suspends trial of former PM

[JURIST] The Bangladeshi High Court [official backgrounder] suspended the extortion trial [JURIST report] of former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wazed [party profile] Monday after receiving a motion from Hasina's lawyers challenging the legality of her detention under emergency laws [JURIST report]. Hasina's lawyers argued that she cannot be detained under emergency laws declared by the interim emergency government [JURIST report] because her alleged offenses originate from circumstances dating over eight years ago, before the government came to power in January. The emergency laws, which allow detention without warrants or specific charges, have prevented Hasina from posting bail. Judges have given the interim government two weeks to respond to the motion.

The emergency government, which has the backing of the military, has used its anti-corruption campaign [BBC Q&A; JURIST news archive] to justify the emergency laws, and has also filed tax evasion charges against Hasina's rival, former Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia [UN profile], who is scheduled to appear in court on August 26. AP has more.

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