29 October 2018

Former Prime Minister and opposition leader, Khaleda Zia, was sentenced to seven years for corruption. While she was prime minister she received $375,000 for a charitable trust from unknown sources. Three others were also sentenced to seven years in jail each for receiving money from undeclared sources for the trust named after the 73-year-old Zia’s late husband and former President Ziaur Rahman.

Zia is serving a five-year term on another embezzlement charge. The present jail term will extend her current term by two years as the sentences run concurrently.

She is a long-time rival to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. She claimed that the politically motivated charges are designed to keep her family out of politics. She came to power in the mid-1980s after her husband, a former military dictator, was assassinated in an abortive coup.

Zia had been in prison before. She and her son Tarique Rahman spent one and a half years behind bars after being held by the army-backed government in 2007 awaiting trial for alleged corruption. Her son, Rahman, heir apparent to the opposition movement, was jailed for life in absentia this month. He lives in exile in London. Al Jazeera reported.