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Son of former Bangladesh PM released after corruption arrest

[JURIST] Arafat Rahman, the son of former Bangladeshi Prime Minister Khaleda Zia [Virtual Bangladesh profile], was released Tuesday after being arrested [JURIST report] the day before on corruption allegations, according to local media reports. The reason for Arafat's release was not apparent Tuesday, but negotiations between Zia and the military-backed government Monday ended in Zia agreeing to leave Bangladesh [JURIST news archive] if her two sons could go with her. Zia is scheduled to leave for Saudi Arabia in the next few days and a high-ranking government source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Arafat would go with Zia while her elder son, Tarique Rahman [party profile, in Bengali], would join them later.

Tarique, a senior member in the Bangladesh Nationalist Party [Wikipedia backgrounder], was also arrested [JURIST report] last month on corruption charges. He was widely expected to succeed his mother, who stepped down at the end of her term last October to make way for the interim government. He is currently awaiting trial on charges that he extorted $147,000 from a construction company. AP has more.

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