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Khaleda’s jail sentence suspension extended by another sixth months

The government has extended the suspension of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s jail sentences by another six months.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has taken the decision at the recommendation of the Ministry of Law. With this the government has extended the jail sentence suspension of former prime minister for the sixth time.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal stated it to journalists at a press briefing at Secretariat on Sunday (Sept 18) afternoon.

He said Khaleda Zia’s jail sentence suspension was extended conditionally like the previous ones.

“Khaleda Zia will take treatment staying in the country and she will not be allowed to go abroad to avail medical treatment,” he said. “Her jail sentence suspension has been extended on this condition and she will be able to stay outside jail until March 2023.”

Earlier in the morning, Law Minister Anisul Huq said from New York over phone that the Law Ministry recommended to extend the suspension of Khaleda Zia’s jail sentence for another six months in two corruption cases on two conditions. The conditions are Khaleda Zia will receive treatment staying at her residence in Dhaka and she will not be allowed to go abroad.

The Public Security Division under the Home Ministry will issue a gazette notification in this regard on Monday, he said.

A few days ago, Khaleda Zia’s younger brother Shamim Iskander appealed to the Home Minister for unconditional release and permission to go abroad for better treatment.

On March 25, 2020, the government first suspended BNP chief’s jail term for a period of six months in exercise of its executive authority amid Covid-19 pandemic.

Later, the government extended such suspension of the sentence of Khaleda Zia on various occasions.

Aged 76, the former prime minister was convicted of two graft cases for her alleged involvement in irregularities in collecting and spending funds of Zia orphanage and Zia charitable trust cases.

A Dhaka court, on February 8, 2018, sentenced her to imprisonment for five years in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case. On the day, she landed in jail and remained there until her release following suspension of sentence.

Khaleda Zia has been staying at her Gulshan residence since her release from jail upon executive order of the government.

Although she is receiving treatment at home and a private hospital in Dhaka, her family members want to send her abroad for better treatment.

But Law Minister Anisul Huq said the government has no authority to allow convict Khaleda Zia to go abroad for treatment.