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Bangladesh court issues arrest warrant for former PM

[JURIST] A Bangladeshi court issued a warrant Sunday for the arrest of former Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed [Wikipedia profile] who is currently exiled in London. Wajed was stopped from boarding a plane [AP report] in London Sunday after the interim government issued an international warning to prohibit Wajed from returning to the country. Wajed was charged [JURIST report] in absentia earlier this month with four counts of murder arising from the deaths of four protesters during political turmoil in October. The warrant was issued now however because of Wajed's statements that she hoped to return to Bangladesh to fight the charges, despite her government-imposed exile. Wajed attempted to fly back to the country last week but was denied a ticket to board the flight to Dhaka.

Wajed and her former political opponent, Khaleda Zia [Virtual Bangladesh profile], are both facing heavy scrutiny during the current interim government's crackdown on the country's notorious political corruption. A state of emergency [JURIST report] was imposed in January after violent and fatal street fights between followers of Wajed and Zia. The anti-corruption campaign has already led to the detentions of more than 160 senior government officials. Bangladeshi authorities alerted airlines operating flights to Bangladesh and immigration departments in ports of entry that Wajed is not permitted to enter the country. If Wajed returns to Bangladesh, she may be immediately forced to exile in Saudi Arabia, as some government officials have suggested. Reuters has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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