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Bangladesh court grants bail to former PM Khaleda Zia

14 March 2018

On February 8, the Dhaka Special Court-5 convicted the former Prime Minister and BNP chairpersonand sentenced her to five years' imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.

In the meantime, the bail that Khaleda got from the High Court will continue.

Zia, who entered politics in the mid-1980s after her military dictator husband was assassinated in an abortive coup, also faces dozens of separate charges related to violence and corruption. Earlier on Monday, Alamgir said an election without Zia would be "meaningless". The HC bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Shahidul Karim passed the order after a hearing on a bail petition in the case.

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Court officials said the bail was granted after reviewing the case documents received from the trial court.

Her lawyer Zainul Abedin told reporters the court had agreed to an interim bail of four months.

The bench, however, stayed the fine of Taka 2.10 crore slapped on Zia.

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The court also sentenced Zia's son, Tarique Rahman, and four others to 10 years in prison for involvement in the case.

Tarique, who is in the United Kingdom now, and Mominur Rahman, nephew of late president Ziaur Rahman, are still shown as fugitives in the case documents.

Mahbubey Alam, the country's attorney general, said after Monday's ruling that a move against the bail order would be made in the High Court on Tuesday.

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"We have already started the process to file the appeal". The BNP boycotted the last polls, in 2014, in a protest against Hasina's scrapping of the practice of having a caretaker government oversee elections.

Bangladesh court grants bail to former PM Khaleda Zia