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Bangladesh SC grants bail to ex-PM Khaleda Zia in graft case

17 May 2018

The apex court also directed a High Court division bench headed by Justice M Enayetur Rahim to dispose of an appeal, by July 31, filed by the BNP chief, challenging her conviction by a lower court in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.

The High Court on March 12 granted four-month bail to BNP chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case, in which the former prime minister has been sentenced to five-year imprisonment.

Yesterday the Appellate Division set today to pass its judgment in the appeal case, as it heard the arguments of Attorney General Mahbubey Alam again.

They had also said that Zia challenged her conviction in the High Court and "let her get acquitted there", but now she did not deserve the bail for her sickness as the medical board, which had examined her, had not recommended that she be hospitalised, which could have been the ground for her bail.

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.

The Appellate Division delivered its verdict on Wednesday on two appeals against the High Court's bail order.

"We hope she will be released shortly", Abedin said.

She has since been kept at the old Dhaka central jail.

The ACC had filed the case with Ramna Police Station in July 2008, accusing the six of misappropriating over Tk 2.1 crore that came from a foreign bank as grants for orphans.

Judge Kamrul Hossain Mollah of the Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court passed the order after Khaleda's lawyer submitted 11 petitions seeking adjournment of hearings of the cases.

The SC on May 8 adjourned until May 9 the hearing on the petitions filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission and the state against Khaleda's bail.

Zia was sentenced to five years in jail on February 8 by a lower court in connection with the embezzlement of 21 million taka (about United States dollars 250,000) in foreign donations meant for the Zia Orphanage Trust, named after her husband late Ziaur Rahman, a military ruler-turned-politician, during her 2001-2006 premiership. Later, the Appellate Division stayed Khaleda Zia's bail until May 8 in the case.

Bangladesh SC grants bail to ex-PM Khaleda Zia in graft case