Bangladesh’s top court denies release for jailed ex-premier Zia
former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia

Bangladesh’s Supreme Court on Thursday rejected a petition seeking the release of former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, who has been serving prison sentences for corruption.

Her lawyers said that she was seriously ill but a six-member panel of judges, headed by Chief Justice Syed Hossain, refused the application.

This, they argued, is after Attorney General, Mahbubey Alam, reviewed a report on her health.

He added that though the court had also asked the government to ensure improved medical treatment for the 74-year-old.

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Zia, who heads the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, had been in prison since Feb. 2018, after being sentenced to five years jail term.

The jail term was doubled later by a higher court for misappropriating funds meant for orphans.

She was also sentenced to seven years in jail on Oct. 2018 for raising money for a charity from unknown sources during her 2001-2006 tenure as prime minister.

Zia, who had been suffering from arthritis, and other medical problems for a long time, was moved to hospital from jail in April after her health condition deteriorated.

According to Zainul Abedin, one of Zia’s lawyers, said: “We have sought bail on humanitarian ground as the former Prime Minister is seriously ill and getting physically crippled day by day.

“We did not get the expected order, the court rejected the petition citing no reason’’.

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