Khaleda Zia's son temporarily freed from detention
Posted on: 11:02 AM IST Jul 18, 2008
Dhaka: Bangladesh government on Thursday released former prime minister Khaleda Zia's ailing younger son from detention in a graft case for two months for treatment abroad.
"We received the executive order at 5 pm and released Arafat Rahman Koko at 6 pm" from a state-run specialised hospital where he was being treated while under detention, Deputy Inspector General of Prisons Major Shamsuddin Haidar Siddiqui told PTI over phone.
Zia, leader of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), is also under detention for alleged corruption.
Witnesses and family sources said Koko, who suffers from lung and heart problems and has severe asthma, was driven straight to her mother's cantonment residence after his release.
Koko's release came a month after the arch-rival of his mother ex-premier and Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina was released and allowed to go to the United States for treatment for hearing impairment and other complications.
The government move considered crucial as it was trying to bring Zia's BNP to a dialogue towards transition to democracy.
BNP so far declined to join the dialogue though Zia's Hasina's Awami League joined the talks as the general election was planned for the third week of December this year.
Koko is widely expected to travel to Bangkok for treatment but under the executive order he would have to apprise the Bangladeshi mission there about his health conditions every three days.
"He will not be engaged in political or business activities (and) will not communicate with any person organisation for any reason other than issues related to his health" during the period," read the executive order signed by a senior home ministry official.