Dhaka A Bangladesh court on Tuesday doubled the jail term of opposition leader and former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia from five years to 10 in an orphanage graft case following an appeal by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
On February 8, a special court sentenced Khaleda, the chief of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), to five years in jail for embezzling funds of around $200,000 meant for the Zia Orphanage Trust, reports bdnews24.
A bench of the Bangladesh High Court comprising Justices M Enayetur Rahim and Md Mostafizur Rahman pronounced the decision on Tuesday.
“Khaleda Zia was the key suspect in the case, which is why we demanded increasing her punishment. The High Court granted our appeal scaling up the punishment to 10 years from five. As a result, all defendants have the same punishment — 10 years. The bails for other defendants were also rejected,” Khurshid Alam, a lawyer for the ACC, said after the verdict.
Khaleda’s son Tarique Rahman and four others were also sentenced for 10 years.
On Monday, she was sentenced to seven years in jail in a corruption case.
The temporary court set up at the old central prison here found Khaleda and three others guilty of using their political clout to raise funds of around 31.5 million taka ($375,000) from unknown sources for the Zia Charitable Trust.
The case was filed against Khaleda by the ACC eight years ago.