Bangladesh court grants Khaleda six-month bail in defamation cases

Dhaka: A Bangladesh court on Tuesday granted a six-month bail to former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia in two defamation cases filed against her.

Justice Muhammad Abdul Hafiz and Kashefa Hussain passed the order after hearing a bail petition filed by Khaleda’s lawyers, reports bdnews24.

However, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chief cannot be released from the jail as she is convicted in two other graft cases.

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AB Siddique, president of Bangladesh Jananetri Parishad, a pro-Awami League organization, filed the cases against Zia on charge of hurting the religious sentiment of the Muslims and for making derogatory comments on Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, reports The Daily Star newspaper.

He filed one case on October 21, 2014 claiming that on October 14 of the same year, Zia at a programme in Engineers Institution in Dhaka said “the ruling party’s professed secularism was nothing but a sham”, adding that her remarks hurt religious sentiments of Muslims.

In another defamation case filed on January 25, 2017, Siddique claimed that Zia at a programme said Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had not wanted independence of Bangladesh, rather he had wanted to be the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

The former Prime Minister landed in jail on February 8, 2018, after being convicted in a separate corruption case involving Zia Orphanage Trust, filed during the 2007-08 military-backed caretaker government rule.

Her jail sentence was later increased to 10 years in that case.


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