Update March 25, 2020

Dhaka 3-47 pm, 05-July, 2020

Khaleda Zia temporarily released after 25 months’ imprisonment

Mirajul Moin Joy

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia was released on Wednesday following a six-month suspending sentence for her jail sentence following an executive order over 25 months after she was convicted and sent to jail in graft cases.

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

The BNP chief, who has been undergoing treatment at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) since April 1 last year, came to the hospital around 4:13 pm as his release order reached the jail authorities on completion of all necessary procedures.

However, she started for her Gulshan residence around 4:20 pm after being caught in huge crowds from her party leaders and activists.

Meanwhile, ‘Firoza’, the luxury home of Khaleda at Road No 79 in Dhaka’s Gulshan area which turned into an abandoned house since she went to jail, was prepared for her comfortable stay there.

As the government announced on Tuesday that the BNP chief would be released from jail for six months, the house was cleaned and refurbished to welcome her.

Khaleda Zia’s family recently submitted an application to the government seeking an executive order that the BNP chief be released for her treatment in London.

Her brother Shamim Eskandar, sister Selima Islam, and her (Selima’s) husband Dr Rafiqul Islam met Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and made an appeal for his release through the executive order.

Under the circumstances, the former prime minister’s sentences have been suspended as per section 401 (1) of the Criminal Code of Procedure (CrPC), said Law Minister Annisul Huq on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said Khaleda’s personal doctors will provide her treatment at her residence. “Contacting her personal doctors and taking steps to ensure her treatment at her residence.”

He also said it depends on Khaleda’s decision whether she will receive treatment at her residence or any hospital.

Khaleda has been in jail since she was convicted in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case on February 8, 2018.

She was found guilty in another corruption case later this same year, though her party claims both cases are politically motivated.

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