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Bangladesh govt to release former PM Khaleda Zia for six months

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DHAKA: Bangladesh government has decided to release former prime minister Khaleda Zia for six months suspending her jail term in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case, Law Minister Anisul Huq said.  

“We have decided to release her on humanitarian grounds as per the instructions of prime minister Sheikh Hasina,” Huq told a media briefing.

During this six-month period the Zia, who is also the chairperson of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), can receive treatment at her home, but cannot go abroad, the minister said.

The government’s decision comes days after Zia’s family applied to the home ministry for her temporary release.

Huq said the home ministry has been instructed to release her.

Khaleda has been in jail after being convicted in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case on February 8, 2018.  Later in the same year she was found guilty in another corruption case.

The BNP, however, maintained that both the cases are politically motivated.

The BNP chief has been lodged in the prison ward of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University since April 1 last year for treatment. 

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