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Court sentences Bangladesh ex-PM to 2 extra years in prison

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A Bangladesh court sentenced former prime minister and opposition leader Khaleda Zia to two extra years in prison for corruption on Monday, lawyers said.

Khaleda was jailed for five years in a separate case in February.

The terms will run concurrently.

The opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party has been in disarray ahead of general elections set for December after Khaleda was jailed in February for stealing funds for an orphanage.

State prosecutors said Khaleda, 72, and three aides were convicted on Monday of misappropriation of 31.5 million taka (371,550 dollars) for a trust when she was last prime minister, from 2001 to 2006.

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Her party says the charges are part of a plot to keep her and her family out of politics.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda, both related to former leaders, have dominated politics in poverty-stricken Bangladesh for more than two decades, nursing a long and bitter rivalry.

Hasina’s Awami League came to power for a second consecutive term in 2014 after a bloody parliamentary election that was boycotted by Khaleda’s party.

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