SC upholds Khaleda bail

SC upholds Khaleda bail

Bangladesh Supreme Court granted bail to former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia in a graft case today.

A four-member bench of the Appellate Division, led by chief justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, handed down the order.

Court officials said a four-member bench of the Supreme Court's Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain chose to grant Zia bail, upholding a previous high court order.

The SC also issued an order to dispose of Khaleda's appeal petition challenging the lower court's verdict in the case by July 31.

The HC on March 12 had granted bail to Khaleda, now in jail, in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case.

Zia has been in the old jailhouse on Nazimuddin Road, Dhaka after she was convicted in the case.

As per reports, this bail will not entitle Zia to walk out of prison as her bail pleas in six other cases were yet to be delivered.

However, Mohammad Ali apologised to the court and said: "The court can react, but the court does not allow us (lawyers) to react". Therefore, she could not be granted bail on health grounds, he said.

In the petitions, Khaleda's lawyer Sanaullah Mia mentioned that his client had earlier filed writ petitions with the HC seeking quashing of the case proceedings.

He said Khaleda was shown arrested in the cases filed with different police stations in Cumilla, Dhaka, Narail and Panchagarh.

Zia has been in jail for more than three months in the graft case for misusing power and embezzling about $250,000 involving a trust fund named after her late husband, former President Ziaur Rahman.

When the ACC and the State moved the apex court's Appellate Division, it suspended the bail order until May 8, allowing these two to start appeals against the bail.

The AG told the apex court that Khaleda had discharged the duties of the prime minister and continued her politics despite having the diseases "which are tolerable". Later, the Appellate Division stayed Khaleda Zia's bail until May 8 in the case.