Dhaka – Former Bangladeshi prime minister Khaleda Zia has been granted permanent bail in a graft case filed during an army-backed interim administration more than nine years ago, officials said on Wednesday.
The High Court bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Shahidul Karim delivered the judgment after the final hearing on a petition that the defendant filed in 2008 after Khaleda Zia was accused in plundering money from two charities.
Khaleda, also the chairperson of opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, was accused of embezzling money from Zia Orphanage Trust and Zia Charitable Trust – the charities named after her slain husband Ziaur Rahman, who turned Bangladesh’s president from the position of army chief.
In 2008, the High Court granted anticipatory bail for the former prime minister. The court had also asked the government why Khaleda should not be granted regular bail in the case.
The High Court, however, extended the bail as the trial process of the case was underway in a specially set up court.
The latest High Court order will allow the defendant to remain in bail until the trial in the cases ends.
The Anti-Corruption Commission filed the case on July 3, 2008 accusing Khaleda, her elder son Tarique Rahman, exiled in London, and four others for plundering nearly Tk 2.10 crore that was received as grants for orphans via a foreign bank.
Three accused, including Tarique Rahman, in the case are absconding.