Published: Thu, February 08, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Ex-Bangladesh PM Khaleda Zia sentenced to 5 years in graft case

Ex-Bangladesh PM Khaleda Zia sentenced to 5 years in graft case

Reiterating that the country sees development when Awami League comes to power, Sheikh Hasina urged people to vote for the Awami League and its alliance in the national election to be held in December next to maintain the pace of development in the country.

Judge Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman announced the verdict in a special court in Dhaka's Old City.

In July 2008, Bangladesh's Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) had filed the case against six people, including Khaleda and her eldest son Tarique Rahman, for allegedly misusing Tk2.1 crore that had come as grants for orphans from a foreign bank.

Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chairperson Khaleda Zia speaks during a news conference in Dhaka on October 21, 2013.

She has repeatedly said the charges against her are aimed at excluding her and her family from politics.

Traffic was thrown out of gear and shops closed as security forces took Zia to jail after the verdict.

Prior to the verdict, BNP supporters had clashed with the police, who then fired tear gas shells to disperse the crowd. "Do not worry and be strong", Khaleda said while trying to comfort her weeping relatives. You all wait, I will be back.

Several police officers were injured in the violence a few kilometres from the court, reports said.

The verdict convicted her of transferring 21 million taka (252,203 USA dollars) to her personal wallet from the charity "Zia Orphanage Trust". A similar jail term was handed down to four of her aides.

Her party boycotted 2014 polls in which Hasina was re-elected but is expected to contest the upcoming general election.

Police said they arrested at least seven BNP officials in the port city of Chittagong, including the local head of the party after opposition supporters scuffled with police.

The Bangladeshi capital had observed a total shutdown, in anticipation of the reaction of the verdict.

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