She had argued that she did not want treatment in any Bangladesh hospital due to security worries. Party officials and lawyers said she feared for her life.

   

She had requested treatment abroad, preferably in the United States, where her son and daughter live and where she has been treated in the past.

 

The authorities said under emergency rules and prison codes such travel was not permitted.

   

Shamsul Hyder Chowdhury, deputy inspector general of prisons, told reporters: "Under the present rules, no prisoner can be sent abroad for treatment, under any circumstances." 

   

But this week Hasina, who was prime minister from 1996 to 2001, agreed to treatment at a Dhaka hospital of her choosing.

   

Hasina has been held at a building in Dhaka's sprawling parliament compound since her arrest in July last year on corruption allegations.

   

A court on Tuesday adjourned a hearing against her until February 26 after her defence said "the former prime minister is sick with high blood pressure, ear and eye ailments".