South Asia

Bangladesh drops leader Sheikh Hasina corruption case

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, file image
Sheikh Hasina's supporters say the charges are politically motivated

Corruption charges against Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have been dropped - the last of 15 cases she faced when she came to office in 2009.

Anti-corruption officials had accused her of wasting state money by paying for lobbying in the US during her 1996-2001 administration.

But judges ruled that the accusations did not constitute a criminal offence.

Sheikh Hasina's supporters say the criminal cases against her were politically motivated.

All 15 cases were brought between 2001 and 2008, when she was out of power.

Since she came back to power in January 2009, each one has been withdrawn by the accuser, thrown out of court or discontinued.

Her lawyer, Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh, told Bangladeshi media that justice had been done.

"We have got fair justice, all cases have been quashed through legal procedures," he told the bdnews24 website.

The corruption case related to the appointment of a lobbyist to represent the Bangladesh Export Processing Zones Authority in Washington.

The anti-corruption agency, which filed the charges in 2001, said that as a result of the appointment, the state suffered heavy financial losses.

But the court ruled there was no evidence of any crime.

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