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B'desh SC upholds bail for Khaleda Zia

Dhaka [Bangladesh], May 16 : The Bangladesh Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the bail order of former Prime Minister and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia in connection with the ongoing Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case.

According to lawyers, the bail does not allow Khaleda to walk free soon, as she is embroiled in other graft cases.

BNP lawyer Moudud Ahmed was quoted by bdnews24 as saying, "We have to try to seek bail in other cases for that. We'll try hard to secure the bail as early as possible. As the Appellate Division (of the SC) upheld the high court order, it would be easy to get the bail in other cases."

Meanwhile, Bangladesh's Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan said that the Appellate Division has ordered the court to settle the appeal by July 31.

"We must follow the order. We'll request the court that we are getting ready to begin hearing the appeal," Khan said.

BNP's Legal Affairs Secretary Kayser Kamal further said that Khaleda was facing 36 more graft cases and has been summoned to appear on June 7 in the Comilla court regarding two cases.
Earlier on March 12, the high court had granted a four-month bail to Khaleda.

Later, the ACC and the government moved the appeals before the apex court challenging the high court's bail order.

Earlier on February 8, Special Judge's Court-5 of Dhaka sentenced Khaleda to jail after it had found her and five others guilty in the graft case.

Khaleda along with her elder son Tarique Rahman and four others were sentenced to ten years of rigorous imprisonment along with imposing a fine of over 2.1 crore taka (approx Rs 1.6 crore).
The case was filed by the ACC in July 2008, alleging misappropriation of funds amounting to 2.1 crore taka that were said to have come from a foreign bank in the form of grants for orphans.

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