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Former Bangladesh PM Zia Appears in Court on Corruption Charges


Bangladesh's former prime minister, Khaleda Zia, has appeared in court on corruption charges and accused the government of using the courts to rig upcoming elections.

Ms. Zia made an initial appearance on Wednesday to face charges that she, her son, and at least 11 others used their influence to illegally award a port deal to a local company. The trial was adjourned until June 10th.

After the hearing, Ms. Zia told reporters she and her co-defendants are innocent. She said the government was trying to set up what she called a farcical election by keeping political leaders in prison.

Ms. Zia, who heads the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, has urged the military-backed interim government to lift the state of emergency by the end of June and to hold elections in October.

The caretaker government has pledged parliamentary elections by the end of this year.

Matiur Rahman Chowdhury has more on the story.

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