Former Bangladesh PM Khaleda Zia sentenced to 7 years in corruption case

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DHAKA: A Bangladesh court on Monday sentenced former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia to another seven years in jail on corruption charges.

 

According to the Zia Charitable Trust Fund case, Zia and three others abused their power and raised funds for the trust from unknown sources.

The other three accused in the case are Khaleda’s former political secretary Harris Chowdhury, Harris' assistant private secretary Ziaul Islam Munna and Monirul Islam Khan, the assistant private secretary to former city mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka.

A fine of 10 lakh taka imposed of the accused, if they fail to pay it, they will have to serve an additional six months in prison.

A Dhaka court pronounced the verdict almost seven years after the case was filed by the Anti Corruption Commission in 2011.

In February, another court sentenced her to five years in jail for embezzling Rs 1.6 crore meant for an orphanage and she already serving five years in jail for this case. The case was filed by anti-corruption commission in 2008.

Zia entered politics in the mid-1980s after her husband, a former military dictator, was assassinated in an abortive coup.

She has served as a Bangladesh Prime Minister for two terms from 1991 to 1996 and from 2001 to 2006.

Zia says the charges are designed to keep her family out of politics. There was no immediate reaction from Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), but her lawyers have consistently described the trial as "political vengeance".

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