After more than two years behind bars, BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia is going to be released as the government has decided to suspend her sentence for six months.
''The government on Tuesday decided to free Khaleda Zia for six months on humanitarian grounds considering her age,'' said Law Minister Anisul Huq at a media briefing at his Gulshan residenc in the afternoon.
''The government has suspended her sentence as per section 401 of Criminal Code of Procedure. However, the former Prime Minister has to stay her home in Dhaka and receive treatment there. She will not be able to leave the country,'' said the Law Minister.
''The Home Ministry will take decision on the timing of BNP chief's release. The Law Ministry has sent a recommendation to the Home Ministry to this end,'' added Anisul Huq.
Meanwhile, soon after the announcement of the Law Minister, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said, ''We will start the procedure of freeing Khaleda Zia following Prime Minister's approval.''
Mohammad Sharif Mahmud Apu, the Public Relations Officer of the Home Ministry told The Asian Age ''The papers sent by the Law Ministry to release Khaleda Zia have reached Home Ministry. The summary of the papers will be sent to Prime Minister's office for approval.''
Recently Khaleda Zia's lawyers pleaded to the High Court and the Supreme Court several times seeking her bail but the pleas were rejected. Former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia is undergoing treatment at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU).
The BNP chief has been in jail since February 8, 2017 after a special court sentenced her to five years' imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.On October 30, 2018, the High Court increased her jail term to 10 years in the case.
On October 29, 2018, Khaleda Zia was sentenced to seven years' imprisonment by another special court in Zia Charitable Trust corruption case.
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