Bangladesh ex-premier's son among 30 people indicted in grenade attack

Bangladeshi policemen escort Tarique Rahman to court in Dhaka, Bangladesh on March 8, 2007.

Story highlights

  • Tarique Rahman is among 52 total indicted in the deadly 2004 attack at a political rally
  • His mother, the former premier, blames political vendettas for his prosecution
  • Rahman lives in England and will be tried in absentia, prosecutor says
A Bangladesh court on Sunday indicted the eldest son of a former prime minister and 29 others on charges related to alleged involvement in a 2004 deadly grenade attack on a rally led by the current prime minister, police and court officials said.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina narrowly escaped the attacks, but Ivy Rahman, the wife of Bangladesh President Zillur Rahman was among 24 killed. The attacks are believed to have been carried out by an outlawed Islamist group called Harkat-ul-Jihad al Islami.
The accused include at least two ministers in the cabinet of former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, former chiefs of two state intelligence services and three former inspectors general of police. Twenty-two other people were previously indicted in the attacks.
Zia's eldest son, Tarique Rahman, 47, now resides in England and will be tried in absentia, said Syed Rezaur Rahman, the state prosecutor. A judge set the trial date for March 28.
Police investigators say Tarique Rahman aided and abetted the Zia administration in planning the attacks and helping the assailants flee the scene. Rahman could face the death penalty if found guilty, according to the country's penal code.
Since the end of Zia's tenure in 2006, Tarique Rahman is facing 14 cases on charges of corruption and extortion.
Zia's youngest son, Arafat Rahman, was jailed for six years on a corruption and money laundering charge. He was also tried in absentia.
Zia, who heads the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party and has served twice as the country's prime minister, said political vendettas are to blame in both her sons' prosecutions.
The BNP and its allies have recently demanded midterm elections and launched an anti-government movement.