The top court of Bangladesh on Wednesday upheld the bail given to Bangladesh Nationalist Party Supremo and Former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia given by the High Court.
Zia was sentenced to five years in jail on February 8 by a lower court in connection with the embezzlement of 21 million taka (about United States dollars 250,000) in foreign donations meant for the Zia Orphanage Trust, named after her husband late Ziaur Rahman, a military ruler-turned-politician, during her 2001-2006 premiership.
The HC on March 12 had granted bail to Khaleda, now in jail, in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case.
After hearing arguments on Tuesday, the Appellate Division set Wednesday to deliver its order on the two petitions filed challenging Khaleda's bail granted by the High Court.More news: Moon sighted, first Ramzan on Thursday
Lawyers from both sides said the ruling does not necessarily mean Zia will be released from jail because she's been arrested in connection with three other cases.
But on March 19, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court stayed till May 8 the High Court order, granting two leave to appeal petitions filed by the ACC and the state against the bail.
Mahbubey Alam added that the HC could hear and dispose of the appeal filed by Khaleda challenging the trial court verdict that sentenced her to five years' imprisonment in this case.
Khaleda Zia's lawyer Joynal Abedin appeared optimist and said that they expect to secure bail in other cases as well.More news: Merkel Says Germany Remains Committed To Iran Nuclear Accord
Arguing on behalf of Zia, her lawyer had pleaded for the former premiers bail on the ground of her ill health and old age.
On Khaleda's freedom from jail, BNP lawyer Moudud Ahmed said: "We have to try to seek bail in other cases for that".
The attorney general said the BNP chief did not submit any medical documents to the court in support of her claim that she was seriously ill.
Zias imprisonment had shook the countrys political scenario ahead of the general elections in December this year.More news: Kent State University Has No Problem With Rifle-Toting Graduation Photos
This is unedited, unformatted feed from the Press Trust of India wire.