Bangladesh court jails Khaleda Zia for five years on graft charges

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Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chairperson and former prime minister Khaleda Zia has been sentenced to five years in jail in a graft case.

A makeshift court handed down the judgement on Thursday, also awarding 10 years of imprisonment to five others including her son Tarique Rahman.

The special judge’s court set up in Old Dhaka’s Bakshibazar area delivered the verdict amid tight security all around.

Khaleda was present in the court at the time of pronouncing the verdict.

On 25 January, the court fixed 8 February to announce the verdict in the Zia Orphanage Trust Graft case.

During the military controlled emergency government in 2008, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed the Zia Orphanage Trust case, accusing Khaleda, her eldest son Tarique Rahman, and four others of misappropriating more than Tk 21 million that had come as grants from a foreign bank for the trust.

The four other accused are: former BNP lawmaker Salimul Haq Kamal and businessman Sharfuddin Ahmed, former principal secretary to the prime minister Kamal Uddin Siddique and nephew of late president Ziaur Rahman Mominur Rahman.

During the regime of Bangladesh Awami League (AL) in 2011, the same ACC filed another graft case against Khaleda and three others.

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