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

Bangladesh Supreme Court Grants Bail to Former PM Khaleda Zia in Graft Case

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court also ordered authorities to make a final decision by July 31 involving a separate appeal by Zia seeking her release from jail.

The HC on March 12 had granted bail to Khaleda, now in jail, in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case.

The bench dismissed the appeals filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the government challenging the High Courts bail to Zia.

The BNP leader was jailed for five years in February on charges of embezzling money intended for an orphanage.

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the High Court order that granted bail to Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson Khaleda Zia in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case. The apex court deferred the date for the verdict after Attorney General Mahbubey Alam and Khaleda's lawyer Zainul Abedin placed some arguments on the appeals yesterday.

On May 9 last, a four-member Appellate Division bench, led by the Chief Justice, fixed Tuesday for delivering the order after closing a two-day hearing on the two petitions. "It would be easy to secure bail from the lower courts since the Appellate Division upheld the High Court's bail".

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Zia has been in the old jailhouse on Nazimuddin Road, Dhaka after she was convicted in the case.

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.

In February, a trial court convicted Zia and also sentenced her son, Tarique Rahman, and four others to 10 years in prison for involvement in the case.

But on March 19, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court stayed till May 8 the High Court order, granting two leave to appeal petitions filed by the ACC and the state against the bail.

The BNP chief was jailed for five years on February 8 over the embezzlement of 21 million taka (about Dollars 2,50,000) in foreign donations meant for the Zia Orphanage Trust, named after her husband late Ziaur Rahman, a military ruler-turned-politician.

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