Bangladesh Supreme Court defers former PM Khaleda Zia's bail hearing till tomorrow

Zia, 72, was sentenced to five years in jail in February by a lower court in connection with the embezzlement of 21 million taka in foreign donations meant for the Zia Orphanage Trust.

Published: 08th May 2018 06:34 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th May 2018 06:34 PM   |  A+A-

Bangladesh ex PM and main opposition BNP chief Khaleda Zia (Photo | AP)

By PTI

DHAKA: Bangladesh's Supreme Court today deferred until tomorrow the hearing on a plea by the country's anti-corruption body challenging the bail granted to former prime minister and opposition BNP chief Khaleda Zia in a corruption case.

Zia, 72, was sentenced to five years in jail in February by a lower court in connection with the embezzlement of 21 million taka (about USD 250,000) in foreign donations meant for the Zia Orphanage Trust, named after her late husband Ziaur Rahman, a military ruler-turned-politician, during her 2001-2006 premiership.

The High Court on March 12 granted Zia a four-month interim bail, considering her age and health issues after the special court released the full verdict.

When the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the State moved the Supreme Court's Appellate Division, it suspended the bail order until May 8, allowing these two to start appeals against the bail.

The Supreme Court bench, led by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, was scheduled to pass the order today, but it deferred the hearing until tomorrow.

As the judges started hearing the case in the morning, ACC lawyer Khurshid Alam presented his arguments on the appeal challenging the bail petition.

Later, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam presented his arguments on behalf of the State.

Following their arguments, AJ Mohamamd Ali who appeared for Zia made arguments and pleaded for her bail.

BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and other senior party leaders were present in the courtroom while party activists rallied around the Supreme Court complex prompting an extra security vigil in the neighbourhood.

Zia's imprisonment shook the country's political scenario ahead of the general elections in December this year.

The BNP, the main opposition outside parliament, alleged the trial was politically motivated to debar her from contesting elections, an allegation denied by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government.

Political analysts feared the BNP is facing political wilderness after Zia's conviction, which is likely to disqualify her from elections unless she could obtain a different verdict from the Supreme Court.

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