SC grants bail to Khaleda

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Bangladesh's Supreme Court will deliver its verdict on Wednesday on the pleas challenging the bail of former prime minister and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chairperson Khaleda Zia, in connection with the ongoing Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case.

Assuring BNP lawyers of releasing the full order soon, the Supreme Court said there is no rule for the Appellate Division to release any short order on its judgement in advance.

Lawyers from both sides, however, said the BNP chief is not going to be freed from jail now as she has been shown arrested in some other cases.

At one stage, AJ Mohammad Ali told the court: "I have come to the court alone, not in a group".

Earlier on Tuesday morning, the Attorney General appealed to the court for holding more arguments in the case.

The bench of Justices M Enayetur Rahim and Shahidul Karim passed the order in response to a petition that Zia had filed before the court in February, The Daily Star reported.

The SC on May 8 adjourned until May 9 the hearing on the petitions filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission and the state against Khaleda's bail.

Mahbubey Alam added that the HC could hear and dispose of the appeal filed by Khaleda challenging the trial court verdict that sentenced her to five years' imprisonment in this case.

Earlier on February 22, the High Court asked Dhaka Special Judge Court-5, which convicted Khaleda Zia in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case, to send the case documents within 15 days.

The 72-year-old Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chairperson was jailed for five years on February 8 over the embezzlement of 21 million taka (about Dollars 250,000) in foreign donations meant for the Zia Orphanage Trust, named after her husband late Ziaur Rahman, a military ruler-turned-politician.

The HC on March 12 had granted bail to Khaleda, now in jail, in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case. Later, the Appellate Division stayed Khaleda Zia's bail until May 8 in the case.

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