A senior Bangladesh government minister has confirmed that the suspension of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s jail sentence will be extended by another six months.
Asaduzzaman Khan, the minister for home affairs, also confirmed on Sunday that the decision, endorsed by the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, was made based on the same conditions set by the government previously.
A notice in this regard will be issued on Monday, he said.
The conditions are that the ailing BNP chief will continue receiving medical treatment at her home in Dhaka and she will not be allowed to travel abroad during these six months.
Khaleda was released from prison on Mar 25, 2020, under these same conditions by an executive order and the government has already extended the release five times by issuing new orders every six months since then.
A special trial court in Dhaka sentenced Khaleda to five years imprisonment on Feb 8, 2017, in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.
A bench in the Bangladesh High Court division increased the jail time to 10 years on Oct 30 the same year after rejecting an appealing plea in the case.
The same trial court had, a day prior, sentenced her to seven years imprisonment in the Zia Charitable Trust graft case.
After that, the septuagenarian top BNP leader served her sentence at the Old Central Jail facilities in Dhaka until the government decided to suspend her jail time on medical grounds as Bangladesh amid the pandemic
Khaleda, a three-time prime minister, has been suffering from myriad physical ailments like arthritis, diabetes, and kidney and liver complications for years.