Former Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia is being treated in a state hospital after being taken there from the centuries-old jail where she has been imprisoned since a corruption conviction, official said. The director of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Brig Gen A K Mahbubul Hoque, says Zia’s condition is not life-threatening but there were complications.
Earlier, Bangladesh court doubled her jail term to 10 years in a corruption case, piling pressure on the Opposition ahead of general elections. The verdict comes a day after Zia, the leader of the Opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), was sentenced to seven years in prison in another graft case. A High Court bench comprising Justice Enayetur Rahim and Justice Mostafizur Rahman had announced the verdict after accepting the Anti-Corruption Commission's review petition to increase 73-year-old Zia's imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case from five to 10 years. Zia’s party says the sentencing was politically motivated.
A Dhaka court had sentenced Zia to five years in jail in the orphanage corruption case on February 8 2018. Zia has been imprisoned at the former central jail since then.
No lawyer for Zia and other accused of the case was present in the court room.
The bench did not say anything about other convicts of the case as they did not file any appeal and they are absconding.
In her 35 years of political career, Zia went to the jail several times.
During the 2007-2008 tenure of the army-backed caretaker government, she was in jail for about a year on charges of corruption.
Zia was made vice-chairperson of the BNP in March 1983 after the assassination of her husband. She became chairperson of the party on May 10, 1984, a post she is holding till now.