Dhaka, October 29: A Special Court Judge Md Akhtaruzaman in Dhaka today sentenced former Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia to seven years in jail in connection with a second graft case involving a charity fund, which is named after her late husband, Ziaur Rahman.
The Court found her guilty of abusing her power as a Prime Minister during collecting $375,000 for the Zia Charitable Trust Fund from some undeclared sources.
The verdict of the lower court came when the Bangladesh's Supreme Court court, earlier in the day, rejected her leave-to-appeal petition in which Zia challenged the High Court ruling allowing a Lower Court to continue Trial of the Zia Charitable Trust corruption case in her absence.
It is to be noted that on September 20, the Court decided to continue the Trial inside the old Dhaka central jail in Zia's absence.
On September 27, Zia approached high Court and filed a revision petition challenging September 20 order of the Court.
On October 14, the High Court rejected her revision petition and paved the way for the Trial Court to move ahead with its proceedings against her. Following which she recently filed the leave-to-appeal petition with the Supreme Court challenging the High Court order.
Since February this Year, Zia is already serving a jail term after she had been convicted in an another case in connection with the embezzlement of 21 million taka (USD 250,000) in foreign donations meant for the Zia Orphanage, established during her rule between 2001 and 2006 and named after her husband president Ziaur Rahman.
The Court sentenced her along with three others, Harris Chowdhury, political secretary to the then PM Khaleda, Ziaul Islam Munna, assistant private secretary (APS) to Harris, and Monirul Islam Khan, APS to former Dhaka City Mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka, for collecting the money from undeclared sources.