Staff Correspondent ;
Dhaka – The government has decided to free former prime minister Khaleda Zia suspending her jail term for six months, a senior minister said on Tuesday.
“I’ve sent the proposal to the home ministry for next course of action,” Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anisul Huq told reporters in Dhaka. He said the former prime minister will not be allowed to go out of the country during this period.
“She will take medical treatment at her home,” the minister said adding that the decision was taken on humanitarian ground considering her age and based on an appeal by her family.
Khaleda, also the chief of opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), has been in jail since February 2018. A trial court on February 8, 2018 convicted her for misappropriating funds meant for orphans and sentenced to five years in jail – a prison term doubled later in October by a High Court.
She was also sentenced to seven years in jail in October 2018 for raising money for a charity from unknown sources during her 2001-2006 tenure as prime minister.
Her party BNP has been demanding her release terming the sentences as politically motivated. The party fought legal battle ever since she was sentenced. But none of the efforts find any headway.
Khaleda’s family recently requested the government to release her on humanitarian ground as she has been suffering from diabetic and chronic arthritis.
She was shifted to a state-run hospital in Dhaka in April 1 last year as her health condition deteriorated.