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Bangladesh: Ex PM Khaleda Zia Awarded 5 Year Jail Term, Her Son Gets 10

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| February 8 , 2018 , 18:06 IST

Bangladesh court on Thursday sentenced former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia to 5 years in jail in a corruption case.

According to the Daily Star, Zia was sentenced to 5 years of rigorous imprisonment by Special Court-5. The 632 page verdict was delivered by Justice Md Akhtaruzzaman.

Tarique Rahman, Zia's elder son, and four others were given 10 years of jail in the politically significant case. 

Zia, the chairperson of the main opposition party Bangladesh Nationalist Party, along with five others was accused of embezzlement of funds meant for the Zia Orphanage Trust. They embezzled over Tk 21 million ($252,000) from foreign donations intended for a charity named after former president Ziaur Rahman, Zia's husband.

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The verdict could possibly bar Zia from contesting in the general elections as the country’s constitution prohibits a convicted person with over two years jail-term from participating.

Khaleda served as the Prime Minister of Bangladesh twice, from 1991 to 1996 and again from 2001 to 2006.

After the verdict, she was taken at the Woman Cell and Daycare Centre at the old Dhaka Central jail. The Jail authorities have already renovated the cell.

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Defence lawyer Khandakar Mahbub Hossain said, "We will go to the higher court against this." He also added that he hoped Zia would receive bail promptly.

Zia's supporters clashed with police and blocked roads in Dhaka in the wake of the verdict.