Khaleda’s conditional release extended for another six months


Dhaka, Sept 19: BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s conditional release from jail in two corruption cases has been extended for six more months.

It is for the fourth time the government has extended her release by suspending her jail sentences in Zia Orphanage Trust and Zia Charitable Trust graft cases, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan told reporters on Sunday.

He said the government took the decision in the light of an application submitted by the BNP chief’s family.

As per the conditions, Khaleda Zia will not be allowed to go abroad for treatment as she will have to stay home and receive treatment there. She was released earlier on the same conditions.

Khaleda’s family submitted an application to the Home Ministry early this month seeking further extension of her conditional release and allowing her to go abroad for receiving advanced treatment.

The Home Ministry sent the application to the Law Ministry a few days back seeking its legal opinion.

The Law Ministry gave its opinion on September 7 and sent it back to the Home Ministry. Later the application was sent to the Prime Minister’s Office for approval.

Earlier on September 12, Law Minister Anisul Huq said BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia must return to jail for submitting a fresh application to seek permission to go abroad for treatment.

“There’s no scope to reconsider the application seeking permission to send Khaleda Zia abroad under section 401 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC). She has to go back to jail and then submit a fresh application if she wants to go abroad for treatment,” the minister said.

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, the government freed Khaleda Zia from jail for six months through an executive order suspending her sentences on March 25 last year.

The government extended her release for six more months on August 27 last year and it was extended further for another six months on March 15 last.

Khaleda Zia tested positive for Covid-19 on April 10, and she was admitted to Evercare Hospital on April 27. She received treatment there until June 19 for post-Covid complications and some other underlying health problems.

On May 5, her family applied to the government seeking permission to take her abroad for better treatment, but the government turned it down saying there is no scope for a convicted person to avail of such a scope.