SC upholds Khaleda's bail in graft case

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

Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson Khaleda Zia speaks during a news conference in Dhaka

Bangladesh law says anyone imprisoned for more than two years can not run for office for the next five years, but Law Minister Anisul Huq had said the final decision rests with the higher courts.

Zia has challenged her conviction and the five-year jail term in the Orphanage Trust corruption case in the high court.

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.

Asked in how many cases Khaleda was arrested, the Attorney General said, "I don't know about it....the Ministry of Home Affairs can say better".

Khaleda Zia's lawyer Joynal Abedin appeared optimist and said that they expect to secure bail in other cases as well.

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. "We'll request the court that we are getting ready to begin hearing the appeal".

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

"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.

On February 8, the Special Judge's Court-5 of Dhaka sentenced Khaleda to jail after it had found her and five others guilty in the graft case.

The Supreme Court had earlier suspended the lower court's decision to grant Zia bail, prompting her Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) to condemn the move as part of a campaign by Hasina to silence the opposition ahead of a looming national election.

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.

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