Khaleda Zia was today sentenced to five years rigorous imprisonment for corruption, a body blow for the ex-Bangladeshi prime minister and main opposition leader who may be disqualified from contesting the next general elections in December.
The 72-year-old three-time former prime minister was sentenced by Dhaka’s Special Court in connection with the embezzlement of 21 million taka (about USD 250,000) in foreign donations meant for the Zia Orphanage Trust, named after her late husband Ziaur Rahman, a military ruler-turned-politician.
The verdict simultaneously sentenced Zia’s "fugitive" elder son and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP’s) senior vice president Tarique Rahman as he was tried in absentia. Rahman and four others have been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Judge Mohammad Akhtaruzzaman, who delivering the judgement, said: "The case was proved beyond any doubt against the accused". PTI