Bangladesh’s ex-premier and opposition BNP chief Khaleda Zia was on Thursday sentenced to five years in jail in a corruption case. Zia, 72, was sentenced by the Special Court-5 in Dhaka in connection with embezzlement of 21 million takas ($252,000) in foreign donations meant for the Zia Orphanage Trust. In the same case, her son Tarique Rahman and four others have been sentenced to 10 years in jail.
The ex-premier on November 30, 2014 lost her last ditch effort to evade the graft trial as the Supreme Court turned down her second ‘leave to appeal’ petition challenging her indictment and asked her to face trial in the lower court. The High Court earlier validated the trial in the lower court, which on March 19, 2014 had indicted Zia on two graft charges brought by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
The ACC alleged that the two charities, the other being the Zia Charitable Trust, existed only on paper and a huge amount of money was misappropriated in the name of the two organisations while Zia was premier during the BNP’s 2001-2006 government.