Dhaka court sentences former Bangladeshi Prime Minister Khaleda Zia to five years on corruption charges
Saturday, February 10, 2018
On Thursday, Dhaka high court sentenced former Bangladeshi Prime Minister to a five year prison term for corruption. Her son Tarique Rahman and four others involved in the case were each sentenced to ten years.
Zia was prosecuted for embezzling US$250 thousand) from foreign donations to an orphanage while she was prime minister. 72-year-old Zia, who became the first female to head the Bangladeshi government in 1991, was sent to jail minutes after the ruling. Her son Tarique Rahman, who lives in England, was not present for the hearing.21 million (about
Judge Mohammad Akhteruzzaman said Zia "was given a shorter term considering her health and social status". According to the Law Minister, Zia can apply for bail and also go to the . Zia's lawyer Khandker Mahbub Hossain said, "We didn't get justice. We'll go to the higher court". Per Bangladeshi law, if a person is jailed for over two years, they are ineligible to stand in election for a period of five years. Parliamentary polls of Bangladesh are scheduled to be conducted in December.
(BNP) leader Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said the ruling was "an attempt to eliminate the opponent" for the upcoming polls. Anisul Huq said the verdict "proves that Bangladesh has the rule of law and that no one is above the law". Huq also noted Zia would not be eligible to run for the December polls if she loses the case in the Supreme Court after the appeal.
BNP secretary generalsaid, "this verdict will deepen the country's existing political crisis and will damage people's faith in judiciary". Thousands of supporters of Zia gathered and protested against the ruling. According to news reports, protesters set fire to motorbikes, and police used to disperse some crowds.
- Julhas Alam for the AP. "Bangladesh court sends former leader Khaleda Zia to prison" — , February 8, 2018
- "Bangladesh ex-PM Khaleda Zia jailed amid clashes" — , February 8, 2018
- Arun Devnath. "Bangladesh Jails Former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia in Graft Case" — , February 8, 2018
- Ruma Paul. "Bangladesh's ex-PM jailed for graft; plans to appeal" — , February 8, 2018