B’desh top court rejects ex-PM Zia’s bail plea in graft case

Dhaka: The Bangladesh Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a bail plea filed by former prime minister Khaleda Zia in connection with the Zia Charitable Trust corruption case.

A bench of the Appellate Division led by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain passed the order. The court also ordered the authorities to provide her with better medical treatment than the one she is receiving currently, Dhaka Tribune reported.

During the proceedings, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam informed the court about Khaleda’s medical report submitted by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) authorities on Wednesday.

“The BNP chairperson has been suffering from arthritis for the last 30 years and diabetes for 20 years. She is suffering from pain in her left knee since 1997,” he quoted the report as saying.

“Apart from that, she (Khaleda) also has asthma and is physically weak. She is refusing to receive treatment from doctors at the hospital,” the attorney general added.

On December 5, the Appellate Division fixed December 12 to hear Khaleda’s bail petition again since the medical report was not submitted before it by the BSMMU medical board formed to treat the former prime minister, according to The Dhaka Tribune.

Khaleda, who is also BNP chairperson, was transferred to BSMMU on April 1 from the old central jail at Nazim Uddin Road in Dhaka. She has been under medical treatment in the hospital since then.

Khaleda, a two-time former prime minister, has been lodged in prison since last February, serving a jail term of 17 years in the Zia Orphanage Trust and Zia Charitable Trust corruption cases.

On July 31, the High Court had dismissed Khaleda’s bail plea in the Zia Charitable Trust graft case, prompting her lawyers to approach the top court on November 14.

The Appellate Division bench, had on November 28, directed BSMMU authorities to submit Khaleda’s medical report before December 5.

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