Bangladesh SC stays release of Khaleda Zia on bail

Bangladesh’s Supreme Court stayed the release of former prime minister Khaleda Zia on bail in a corruption case under which she was sentenced to five years imprisonment, in a setback to her political ambitions in this year’s general election.

Zia, 72, was sentenced on February 8 in connection with the embezzlement of 21 million taka (about USD 250,000) in foreign donations meant for the Zia Orphanage Trust, named after her late husband Ziaur Rahman, a military ruler-turned-politician.

In the same case, her son Tarique Rahman and four others were sentenced to 10 years in jail.

On March 12, the High Court here granted the chairperson of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) a four-month interim bail.

However, a full bench of the Appellate Division led by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain on Monday passed the order to stay until May 8 the High Court order which granted bail to Zia in the graft case.

Following Supreme Court order, Zia will not be released from jail till May 8, Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) lawyer Advocate Khurshid Alam Khan was quoted as saying by ‘Daily Star’.