Bangladesh Supreme Court upholds bail for opposition leader Khaleda Zia

Thursday, 17 May, 2018

The top court of Bangladesh on Wednesday upheld the bail given to Bangladesh Nationalist Party Supremo and Former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia given by the High Court.

The Supreme Court had earlier suspended the lower court's decision to grant Zia bail, prompting her Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) to condemn the move as part of a campaign by Hasina to silence the opposition ahead of a looming national election.

"We hope she will be released shortly", Abedin said.

ACC lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan said they must take steps to settle the BNp chief's petition against her conviction in the case by July 31 as per the Appellate Division's direction.

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

Later, the Anti-Corruption Commission and the government challenged the high court order, taking their appeals to the Appellate Division.

Yesterday the Appellate Division set today to pass its judgment in the appeal case, as it heard the arguments of Attorney General Mahbubey Alam again. The Zia orphanage trust is named after Khaleda's husband and Former President of Bangladesh Ziaur Rahman.

She was then sent to old central jail at Nazimuddin Road in the city on February 8 last.

The court in February had also sentenced Zias elder son Tarique Rahman, now in the United Kingdom, and four others to 10 years rigorous imprisonment each, and fined them a total of 2.10 crore taka, saying that all the convicts have to pay the fine in equal amounts.

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

In another development, the hearings of 11 cases, including a sedition suit, filed against Khaleda were adjourned by a Dhaka court yesterday until July 1.

He hoped that the High Court will soon start hearing on the petition.

Of the 11 cases, 10 were lodged in the first three months of 2015 over arson attacks on vehicles.