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Islamic party leader arrested in Dhaka

Latest update : 2008-05-19

The leader of Bangladesh's biggest Islamic party, Jamaat-e-Islami, was arrested in Dhaka Monday for allegedly receiving money in a port deal, police said.

DHAKA, May 19 (Reuters) - Bangladesh police have arrested
the chief of the country's biggest Islamic political party,
Jamaat-e-Islami, over allegations of kickbacks in a port deal,
police said on Monday.

The arrest was the latest in a crackdown on corruption that
the army-backed interim administration is aiming to complete
before an election scheduled for December.

Moulana Matiur Rahman Nizami, who was also a minister in
the government of Begum Khaleda Zia, was picked up from his
home in the capital Dhaka on Sunday night and taken to a police
station under tight security.

He will be questioned for an illegal contract given to a
local company for handling of cargo operations at the main
Chittagong port, a police officer said.

"We have arrested Moulana Nizami around midnight Sunday and
taken him to the city's Cantonment police station," he said.

The Jamaat was part of Khaleda's coalition government
during its term from 2001 to 2006.

The arrest came hours after two former members of the
Khaleda government, who were also wanted in the cargo contract
case, gave themselves up in a court and were sent to jail.

Khaleda and her rival former prime minister Sheikh Hasina,
head of Awami League, have themselves been under detention for
a year, facing trial on multiple charges of corruption and
abuse of power.

They both deny any wrongdoing, and say the charges were
designed to keep them from contesting the December election.

Date created : 2008-05-19