Bangladeshi ex-PM faces murder charges

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The leader of one of Bangladesh's main political parties, Sheikh Hasina, has been charged with murder.

The Awami League (AL) leader and former prime minister is one of around 50 suspects facing murder charges relating to the deaths of four activists during violent street protests last autumn.

She has dismissed the allegations, just as she has the suggestion made last week that she was guilty of extorting thousands of pounds from a businessman.

Instead Ms Hasina has pointed to growing evidence of intervention in the country's political process from the interim government in recent months.

Her political rival, Khaleda Zia of the Bangladeshi Nationalist party (BNP), has had her movements severely restricted in recent months, while hundreds of senior politicians have been detained for varying periods.

Concerns about the intentions of the army-backed interim government centre around the extension of its remit to run Bangladesh during the election period because of clashes in Dhaka between BNP and AL elements.

Whereas the temporary administration should have presided over a peaceful poll scheduled for January 22nd, fears of further unrest led to Bangladeshi president Iajuddin Ahmed to cancel the election.

The interim government now claims its efforts to tackle corruption within Bangladesh's political elites must be extended beyond initial expectations.

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