[JURIST] The Bangladesh Supreme Court [official website] Monday ordered a stay of the bail granted to former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed [party profile], who has been charged by Bangladesh's anti-corruption commission [governing statute, PDF] with corruption, and most recently, bribery [JURIST reports]. A lower court had granted Hasina bail on November 4 while also staying the case proceedings; the appeals court affirmed the stay of proceedings Monday. In October, Hasina denied accusations [JURIST report] of corruption during questioning by officials that she allegedly extorted approximately $1.16 million from two businessmen. She also faces multiple counts of murder arising from the deaths of four protesters during political turmoil last year.
The new interim government in Bangladesh has arrested over 150 high-profile citizens since the military government declared a state of emergency [JURIST report; advocacy backgrounder] in January due to concerns that fraud would mar national elections scheduled for January 22. Hasina's rival, former Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia [UN profile], has also been charged with corruption [JURIST report]. Hasina was prime minister between 1996 and 2001 and is the the leader of the opposition Awami League [party website]. Xinhua has more.