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

B'desh SC grants bail to ex-PM Zia in graft case

SC upholds Khaleda's bail in graft case

The apex court directed the High Court to hear her petition and positively dispose of it by the end of July.

On March 19, the Appellate Division stayed Khaleda's bail until May 8 in the graft case in which she was convicted by the lower court.

Attorney General Mahbubey Alam said the state will take preparation as soon as possible for the High Court hearing.

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

The Supreme Court will deliver its verdict today on the appeals against the High Court order that granted bail to BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case.

Zia's lawyer Khandakar Mahbub Hossain told The Daily Star that the 72-year-old chairperson of Bangladesh Nationalist Party can not be released from jail despite Wednesday's judgment, as she has been arrested in three other cases.

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.

The bail, however, does not allow Khaleda to get freedom from jail so soon, as she is named as an arrestee in other cases, lawyers said.

The money of orphans had been embezzled from the prime minister's fund in the Zia Orphanage Trust case, he said, adding that the HC did not consider this while granting bail to Khaleda in this case. Therefore, she could not be granted bail on health grounds, he said.

She was then sent to old central jail at Nazimuddin Road in the city on February 8 last. It also sentenced other five accused, including Khaleda's elder son and BNP Acting Chairman Tarique Rahman, to 10-year imprisonment each.

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

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