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Former Bangladesh government ministers detained since 2007 released on bail

[JURIST] Two former Bangladeshi cabinet members, including a former interior minister, were released on bail Tuesday, after being arrested in 2007 [JURIST report] for alleged involvement in a corruption scandal. The two, Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain and Altaf Hossain Choudhury, were released after the Bangladesh Supreme Court [official website] refused to overturn a High Court order granting them bail. Hossain and Choudry were arrested last year as part of the Bangladesh government's anti-corruption campaign [JURIST news archive]. Both have ties to the former Bangladeshi prime minister Bengum Khaleda Zia [UN profile]. From Bangladesh, The Daily Star has more. BDNews24.com has additional coverage.

In May, Bangladesh's Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) [governing statute] filed formal corruption and abuse of power charges [JURIST report] against Zia for an alleged kickback scheme that awarded lucrative gas contracts to Canadian oil company Niko Resources Ltd.. Bangladesh's current anti-corruption campaign began in February 2007 as eight former Bangladeshi ministers were accused of corruption and 13 other former ministers and senior politicians were arrested in raids on their homes after Bangladeshi President Iajuddin Ahmed declared a state of emergency in the country and canceled a scheduled national election [JURIST reports]. Zia and her son were arrested on suspicion of corruption [JURIST report] in September. Three additional members of Zia's cabinet were jailed [JURIST report] on Monday.

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