Bangladesh SC upholds bail for former PM Khaleda Zia

The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the High Court’s decision to grant bail to opposition leader and former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, who was jailed for five years on a graft conviction.

The Appellate Division delivered its verdict on two appeals against the High Court’s bail order. The bail, however, does not allow Zia to get freedom from jail so soon, as she is named as an arrestee in other cases, lawyers said.

 

On Zia’s freedom from jail, BNP lawyer Moudud Ahmed said: We have to try to seek bail in other cases for that. We’ll try hard to secure the bail as early as possible. As the Appellate Division upheld the High Court order, it would be easy to get the bail in other cases.”

 

ACC lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan told reporters that the Appellate Division has ordered the court to settle the appeal by July 31. ”We must follow the order. We’ll request the court that we are getting ready to begin hearing the appeal.”

 

Asked on any other legal step to challenge the bail verdict of the top court, Khan said, ”I have informed the commission. We’ll go for the next step in line with the commission’s decision.”

 

According to the latest order by the top court, the High Court will now resolve by July 31 Khaleda’s appeal that sought to overturn her conviction and a five-year jail term in the Zia Orphanage Trust case.

 

The High Court on March 12 granted an interim bail to Khaleda who was jailed on February 8 after a trial court convicted her.

 

Later, the Anti-Corruption Commission and the government challenged the High Court order, taking their appeals to the Appellate Division. The BNP chief has been lodged in the old jailhouse on Nazimuddin Road after being convicted of embezzling funds meant for orphans.

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