Former Bangladesh PM Khaleda Zia sentenced to five years in prison

Son and four others get 10-year jail term; case pertains to misappropriation of over 2.1 crore Bangladeshi Taka [₹1.6 crore] that had come from a foreign bank as grants for orphans.

Updated - November 28, 2021 08:19 am IST

Published - February 08, 2018 02:51 pm IST - Kolkata

 Bangladesh opposition leader and former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, arrives in the court for her verdict in Dhaka.

Bangladesh opposition leader and former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, arrives in the court for her verdict in Dhaka.

Bangladesh Nationalist Party leader and three-time Prime Minister Khaleda Zia was jailed for five years on Thursday after being found guilty in a corruption case by a Special Judge’s Court in Dhaka.

The court also awarded 10-year-sentences to Tarique Rahman — Ms. Zia’s son and the party’s exiled vice-chairman — and four others.

Amid tight security in key cities across the country, the court convicted Ms. Zia of embezzlement.

Foreign donations case

She was charged with misappropriating Tk 21 million in foreign donations received by the ‘Zia Orphanage Trust’.

“She was given a shorter term, considering her health and social status,” Judge Mohammad Akhteruzzaman said as he passed the sentence.

Ms. Zia was later taken to the Old Central Jail on the capital’s Nazimuddin Road.

“We didn’t get justice. We’ll go to the higher court,” said Khandker Mahbub Hossain, the leader of Ms. Zia’s legal team.

Ms. Zia is due to run in the parliamentary election in December, and can still do so if an appeal is pending.

AP reports from Dhaka:

Ms. Zia was present in the courtroom when the verdict was delivered.

Security forces, fearing clashes, poured into the streets ahead of the verdict, as did Ms. Zia supporters, who thronged her motorcade on the way to the courtroom.

The conviction means Ms. Zia, longtime rival of the current Prime Minister, could be barred from running in the December national elections.

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