SC upholds Khaleda's bail in graft case

Khaleda Zia Granted Bail by Bangladesh Supreme Court

Khaleda Zia Granted Bail by Bangladesh Supreme Court

The Bangladesh High Court granted bail to Opposition leader and former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia on Thursday, BDNews24 reported.

Assuring BNP lawyers of releasing the full order soon, the Supreme Court said there is no rule for the Appellate Division to release any short order on its judgement in advance.

The court is now preparing to hear Zia's appeal against her conviction.

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.

Khaleda's lawyer Zainul Abedin told the SC that the arguments made by the attorney general had gone in favour of his client as the AG placed some instances, saying that the SC had not interfered in the HC orders that granted bail to the convicted in different cases.

"Both the appeals are dismissed", said a four-member Appellate Division bench headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, rejecting the appeals filed by the state and the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) against the High Court order.

He said Khaleda was shown arrested in the cases filed with different police stations in Cumilla, Dhaka, Narail and Panchagarh.

Earlier on Tuesday morning, the Attorney General appealed to the court for holding more arguments in the 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". 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, where she is the only inmate.

The 72-year-old Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson was jailed for five years on February 8 over the embezzlement of 21 million taka (about $250,000) in foreign donations meant for the Zia Orphanage Trust, named after her husband late Zia-ur-Rahman, a military ruler-turned-politician.

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