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

Khaleda Zia

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.

Meanwhile, Khaleda's counsel and former law minister Barrister Maudud Ahmed said as his client is yet to secure bail in some more cases filed against her, she will not be able to come out of jail right now.

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the High Court order that had granted bail to convicted BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.

Asked whether the July-31 deadline set by the Supreme Court for disposing of Khaleda's petition is sufficient, he said, "It's not possible to say now as we'll understand it when the hearing begins".

Her lawyers, however, said that the verdict was unlikely to bring the 72-year-old Zia out of prison as her bail pleas in at least five similar cases against her were pending hearing.

Khaleda is facing 36 cases, BNP's Legal Affairs Secretary Kayser Kamal told bdnews24.com.

The High Court on Mar 12 granted an interim bail to Khaleda who was jailed on Feb 8 after a trial court convicted her.

Later, the ACC and the government moved the appeals before the SC challenging the HC's bail order. 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.

She was then sent to old central jail at Nazimuddin Road in the city on February 8 last.

Zia and five others, including her son Tarique Rahman, were accused of embezzling 21 million takas (approximately Rs 1.6 crore) in foreign donations meant for the Zia Orphanage Trust, which was established during her rule between 2001 and 2006. Later, the Appellate Division stayed Khaleda Zia's bail until May 8 in the case.

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