Bangladesh's Former PM Zia Gets Bail in Graft Case

Published: 30th November 2015 03:30 PM  |   Last Updated: 30th November 2015 03:30 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

DHAKA: Bangladesh's former premier and key-opposition party outside parliament BNP chief Khaleda Zia was today granted bail after she surrendered before a court here over a nearly USD 2 billion graft case dating back to 2007 when she exhausted all legal options to evade the trial.

"The judge (Mohammad Aminul Islam) granted her bail as she surrendered but asked her to appear on December 28, setting the date for indictment hearing," prosecutor Mosharraf Hossain Kajol told PTI.

He said 70-year-old Zia was forced to surrender in line with a Supreme Court decision which had rejected her plea to quash the corruption case over contracting out a major gas field to Canada's Niko Resources allegedly in exchange of kickbacks during her 2001-2006 tenure, causing a loss of Taka 137 billion (USD 1.78 billion) to the state exchequer.

Witnesses said several contingents of elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion joined the armed police to enforce an extra security measure around the court complex in Old Dhaka as Zia appeared on the dock escorted by a large number of pro-BNP lawyers who stood in her defence.

The High Court on July 9, 2008 stayed proceedings of the case and issued a ruling after Zia filed the petition while it was subsequently upheld by the apex court as the statutory Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) challenged the High Court order.

The proceedings were stalled since the ACC took initiative to revive it earlier this year and eventually the High Court rejected her plea to scrap the case and order the ex-premier to surrender before the trial court in two months.

Several former ministers of Zia's BNP-led four-party coalition government and officials, including former law minister Moudud Ahmed and former state minister for energy AKM Mosharraf Hossain, are co-accused in the case being tried at the Special Judge’s Court.

Zia is also being tried in two other graft cases involving two charities named after her husband slain president and BNP’s founder and ex-president Ziaur Rahman.

The two-times former prime minister has said that all of the cases against her are politically motivated. Zia was prime minister from 1991-1996 and 2001-2006.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp