The Financial Express

Khaleda Zia's sentence could be suspended for six more months: Law ministry

| Updated: December 02, 2020 21:59:33

File photo shows BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia File photo shows BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia

The Law Ministry says it has opined that the suspension of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s sentences in two graft cases can be extended for another six months based on some conditions.

“We’ve sent a file to the Home Ministry giving our opinion on extending the suspension of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s sentences for six months more,” Law Minister Anisul Huq told news agnecy UNB on Thursday.

He said the Home Ministry is now supposed to send the file to the Prime Minister’s Office for her approval.

“The PM will now take the final decision in this regard,” the minister said.

If the Prime Minister approves the file, he said, the BNP chief’s sentences will be suspended for another six months from September 25.

As per the condition, the minister said, Khaleda will have to stay at home as she will not be able to go abroad even if her sentences are suspended.

On Tuesday, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir hoped that good senses will prevail upon the government to consider the application submitted by her family for the extension of her temporary release.

He said the BNP chief has been receiving follow-up treatment from her personal physicians since she was released from the Bangabandhu Shiekh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), but she cannot receive advanced treatment due to the prevalence of coronavirus.  

The BNP leader said their chairperson now needs advanced treatment for the improvement of her health condition.

As the six-month suspension of her sentences in two graft cases expires on September 24, Khaleda Zia's younger brother Shamim Iskander submitted the application to Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan on August 25 which was later sent to the Law Ministry.

On March 25 last, the 76-year-old BNP chief was released from jail for six months upon an executive order considering her age and humanitarian ground following an application by her family.

The government passed the executive order for her release on two conditions -- receiving treatment staying at her Gulshan residence and not leaving the country.

Khaleda has been staying at her Gulshan residence since she was released. A special team of her personal physicians has been overseeing her health condition.

The BNP chief was sent to Old Dhaka Central Jail after she had been sentenced to five years’ imprisonment by a special court in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case on February 8, 2018.

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