Khaleda Zia Granted Bail by Bangladesh Supreme Court

The BNP chief was jailed for five years on February 8 over the embezzlement of 21 million taka in foreign donations meant for the Zia Orphanage Trust named after her husband late Ziaur Rahman a military ruler-turned-politician. (Pho

The BNP chief was jailed for five years on February 8 over the embezzlement of 21 million taka in foreign donations meant for the Zia Orphanage Trust named after her husband late Ziaur Rahman a military ruler-turned-politician. (Pho

According to the latest order by the top court, the High Court will now resolve by July 31 Khaleda's appeal that sought to overturn her conviction and a five-year jail term in the Zia Orphanage Trust case.

Court officials said a four-member bench of Supreme Courts Appellate Division headed by chief justice Syed Mahmud Hossain unanimously made a decision to grant bail to Zia, the chairperson of the Opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), upholding a previous High Court order.

The government had appealed a March verdict by the High Court granting her bail for four months.

After hearing arguments on Tuesday, the Appellate Division set Wednesday to deliver its order on the two petitions filed challenging Khaleda's bail granted by the High Court.

On February 8, the Special Judge's Court-5 of Dhaka sentenced Khaleda to jail after it had found her and five others guilty in the graft case.

They (Huda, Nasim, Helal and Tuku) had suffered in jail for more than one year and they were seriously ill and submitted medical certificates to the court, he said, adding that the allegations mentioned in the cases filed against them were different from the allegation brought against Khaleda in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case.


Five others, including her son Tarique Rahman, were sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment and fined Tk2.1 crore each for their role in the crime.

When the ACC and the State moved the apex courts Appellate Division, it suspended the bail order until May 8, allowing these two to start appeals against the bail.

Khaleda Zia's lawyer Joynal Abedin appeared optimist and said that they expect to secure bail in other cases as well. Therefore, she could not be granted bail on health grounds, he said. The conviction means that Zia, the archrival of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, can be barred from running in December elections.

BNP senior leader Moudud Ahmed said, "Khaleda Zia won't be released from jail now as she will have to take bail in six more cases".

This is unedited, unformatted feed from the Press Trust of India wire.

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