New Delhi, Mar 12: Former Prime Minister of Bangladesh Khaleda Zia on Monday has been granted four month bail in a corruption case in Dhaka. Zia was sentenced to five years of jail on February 8 for allegedly embezzling funds that were meant for an orphanage.
In the same case, her son and four others were sentenced to 10 years in jail. Hearing bail plea, the judges considered her health condition. The court is now preparing to hear Zia’s appeal against her conviction. On Monday, it directed the government to prepare the case file within four months
Zia and five others were accused of embezzling 21 million takas (approximately Rs 1.6 crore) in foreign donations meant for the Zia Orphanage Trust, which was established during her rule between 2001 and 2006.
Zia was the Prime Minister from 1991 to 1996 and from 2001 to 2006. When she took office in 1991, she became the first woman in the country’s history and second in the Muslim world to head a democratic government as prime minister. Zia was the First Lady of Bangladesh during the presidency of her husband Ziaur Rahman. She is the chairperson and leader of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) which was founded by Rahman in the late 1970s.
In 2004 Forbes magazine ranked her as one of the most powerful woman in the world. Zia will not be able to contest in the general election of 2018 because the constitution of Bangladesh prohibits a convicted person sentenced to over two years from participating.