Bangladesh says it will free jailed opposition leader Khaleda Zia

Bangladesh will suspend the jail sentence of its ailing former prime minister and opposition leader Khaleda Zia and release her for a period of six months, the nation’s law minister has said.

“We have decided to release her on humanitarian grounds as per the instructions of the prime minister,” Law Minister Anisul Huq said at a media briefing.

“She can receive treatment staying at her home, but she cannot go abroad.”

He said the Ministry of Home Affairs will issue a notification for her release. It was not immediately clear exactly when she would be freed.

Khaleda, 74, who has twice been prime minister, has been in jail since she was convicted in a corruption case in February 2018. She was accused of misusing her power by embezzling some $250,000 in donations meant for an orphanage trust.

The government decided to release Khaleda in response to appeals from her family, Huq said.

Khaleda, who shares a long-standing rivalry with incumbent Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, was later convicted in a separate corruption case following her initial conviction in early 2018. (Al Jazeera)

Image courtesy of IANS

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