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Khaleda Zia's self-exiled younger son dies in Malaysia

Press Trust of India  |  Dhaka 

Bangladesh Nationalist Party's (BNP) chief Khaleda Zia's self-exiled younger son Arafat Rahman Koko died today following a cardiac arrest in Malaysia, where he was living for the past several years, the former prime minister's press secretary Maruf Kamal Sohel said.

"He died on his way to a hospital following a heart attack," Sohel was quoted as saying by local media.

Koko was 45.

But BNP sources said Zia, who is now spearheading a massive anti-government campaign enforcing a violent nationwide blockade since January 6, earlier today met her younger brother and his wife at her office to "discuss Koko's health condition".

Zia's elder son and BNP's senior vice president Tarique Rahman is living in London in a bid to evade trials in a number of graft and criminal charges, one for allegedly masterminding a grenade attack on a rally of now ruling Awami League of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in which 24 people were killed in 2004.

Unlike his brother, Koko preferred to stay away from politics and maintain a low-profile though he was known for his passion for sports.

Koko, however, was arrested on September 2007 on graft charges under a massive anti-graft campaign under emergency rules during the past army backed interim regime and was paroled for treatment abroad in July 2008.

Koko first went to Thailand and lived there until 2011 and then went to Malaysia. A Dhaka court sentenced him to six years of imprisonment in 2011 after trial in absentia.

Zia met Koko last in Singapore in 2012.

First Published: Sat, January 24 2015. 17:05 IST