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Khaleda Zia to stay out of jail for 6 more months

  • Published at 01:41 pm March 15th, 2021
Khaleda-Zia-Released-Mahmud Hossain Opu-BSMMU
File photo: BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, assisted by her sister Selima Rahman, younger brother Shamim Eskander and his wife Kaniz Fatema, comes out of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Hospital on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

During this period, the BNP chairperson will not be allowed to leave the country

The government has approved the proposal of suspending BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's prison sentences in two graft cases for six more months.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan announced on Monday that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has approved the proposal, according to media reports.

Her bail period has been extended for another six months with the previous conditions remaining unchanged.

By the order of the president, the BNP chief should take treatment from her home in Dhaka and should not go abroad during this extra six months, said a press release from the Home Ministry on Monday.

On March 8, Law Ministry again recommended suspending Khaleda Zia's prison sentences for six more months after her family filed a plea with the Home Ministry seeking an extension of the suspended prison sentence on March 3.

Khaleda's family sought permission to have her medical treatment abroad.

Also read - ‘Khaleda’s application on waiving sentence being sent to the Law Ministry’

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, the government freed Khaleda Zia from jail on conditions for six months on an executive order suspending her sentences on March 25 last year.

She was released from the prison cell of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) the same day, and she has been staying at her Gulshan residence since then.

Later on, the government extended her release for six more months from September 25.

Why was Khaleda in jail?

On July 3, 2008, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case against Khaleda Zia, her son and BNP acting chairman Tarique Rahman, and four others at Ramna police station, accusing them of misappropriating Tk2.1 crore of donations meant for a trust to be formed in her husband's name.

On February 8, 2018, a special court convicted Khaleda and sentenced her to five years' imprisonment in the case. She was sent to serve her sentence at a special jail in the Old Dhaka Central Jail building on Nazimuddin Road. 

Later, the High Court extended Khaleda Zia's prison term in the graft case to 10 years.

Meanwhile, the BNP chief and three others were sentenced to seven years in jail in the Zia Charitable Trust graft case on October 29, 2018.

The ACC filed the case on August 8, 2011, at Tejgaon police station against Khaleda and three others, accusing them of abuse of power in raising funds for the trust from unknown sources.