Arrest warrant issued for ex-Bangladesh PM's son

A Bangladesh court on Monday issued an arrest warrant for former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia's son for allegedly transferring millions of dollars in bribes overseas.

A special court indicted Tarique Rahman, Zia's oldest son, in absentia along with one of his businessman friends.

The friend, Giasuddin Al Mamun, was present in court and pleaded innocent.

Rahman traveled to London for medical treatment in 2008 and has refused to return home to attend the court hearings.

Prosecutors say Rahman and Mamun transferred $2.73 million to Singapore after receiving it in bribes from a company for help in obtaining a contract to construct a power plant while his mother was prime minister.

Defense lawyers argued that the court should not issue the indictment because a petition by Rahman arguing that the case was politically motivated remains pending with the Supreme Court. But the court ruled Monday that there was no problem with proceeding with the case.

In June, Zia's younger son was sentenced to six years in jail on charges of laundering money from bribes.

Zia's opposition party has denied all charges against the sons, saying they are aimed at destroying her family's reputation.