Former Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia gets permanent bail in graft charges

In 2011, the anti-corruption watchdog sued the BNP chief and three others for embezzlement of 31.5 million Bangladeshi Taka of the Zia Charitable Trust. (File Photo) Related News

The High Court today granted permanent bail to former prime minister Khaleda Zia in a corruption case involving embezzlement of 21 million Bangladeshi Taka. The graft case was filed in 2008. The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) case accused Khaleda, her son Tarique Rahman and four others in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case.

The bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Shahidul Karim passed the order today after holding the final hearing on a ruling issued by the High Court in 2008, The Daily Star reported. Khaleda, accused in 37 cases, is now on bail in all the cases, said Advocate Zakir Hossain Bhuiyan, a lawyer to the BNP chief.

The court in 2008 issued a rule asking the government to explain why the BNP chief should not be granted regular bail in the case. The court said if Khaleda misuses the bail, the trial court concerned may scrap her bail.

Of the six accused, Khaleda, former BNP lawmaker Salimul Haq Kamal and businessman Sharfuddin Ahmed are on bail while the others including Tarique have been absconding, the report said. In 2008, the ACC filed the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case against six, including Zia and her son Tarique Rahman.

It alleged that the defendants had embezzled 21 million Bangladeshi Taka from funds meant for the trust, which reportedly came from a foreign bank. In 2011, the anti-corruption watchdog sued the BNP chief and three others for embezzlement of 31.5 million Bangladeshi Taka of the Zia Charitable Trust. The orphanage case is under trial at the Dhaka Special Judges Court 3.

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