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Bangladesh ex-PM's son charged with corruption

The Bangladesh Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on Tuesday charged the eldest son of former prime minister Khaleda Zia [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] with corruption for allegedly laundering three million dollars through bank accounts in Singapore. Police officials stated that the ACC filed suit against Tarique Rahman [BBC profile] and his business partner Giasuddin Al Mamun in October, but officially filed the corruption charges [AP report] on Tuesday after investigation into the claims. The money was allegedly laundered between 2003 and 2007. Tarique was detained by the military-backed government in 2007 but was released from prison amidst torture allegations. He now lives in London with Zia in order to receive medical treatment. Mamun is currently incarcerated in Bangladesh and facing additional corruption charges.

Tarique and Zia are also facing charges of embezzlement [JURIST report] filed by the ACC in August. Zia, the head of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party [party website], her son and four others are accused of embezzling over 21 million taka (US $305,000) in the Zia Orphanage Trust, which is said to be nonexistent. In May 2009, Morshed Khan, who served as Zia's foreign minister, began serving a 13-year sentence [JURIST report] for illegally amassing nearly $250,000. Khan initially fled the country following the January 2007 state of emergency declaration [JURIST report] that suspended democratic rights in Bangladesh. Three other Zia officials were jailed [JURIST report] in November 2008. Zia herself was taken into custody [JURIST report] on suspicion of corruption in September 2007.

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