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Central & South Asia
Bail for Bangladesh ex-army ruler
Ershad was sentenced last year to two years in prison in a corruption case.
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2007 10:37 GMT
Ousted in a people's revolt in 1990, Ershad now heads the Jatiya Party, an ally of the Awami League [EPA]
Hossain Mohammad Ershad, Bangladesh's former army ruler, has been granted bail after he surrendered himself before a Dhaka court that had sentenced him to two years in prison in a corruption case.
 
Ershad, who had been ordered by the supreme court to turn himself in by January 17, will appeal against his conviction, his lawyer said on Wednesday.
Rokanuddin Mahmud said: "Now he has been granted a bail, he will appeal to the higher court for a review of the sentence."
 
Ershad, who leads the Jatiya Party, was convicted last year of squandering state funds in a deal to purchase patrol boats from Japan while he was in power from 1982 to 1990.
He was planning to contest parliamentary elections which were due for January 22, but they have now been postponed indefinitely after a new caretaker administration took over after months of popular protests.
 
The former ruler sought a reprieve from the jail sentence, which was given by the lower court and confirmed by the high court earlier last year.
 
Ershad seized power in a bloodless coup in 1982 and was ousted in a people's revolt in December 1990.
Source:
Agencies
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