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Bangladesh SC grants bail to ex-PM Zia in graft case 

Dhaka: Bangladesh’s former prime minister Khaleda Zia, serving a five-year jail term in a corruption case, was today granted bail by the Supreme Court, which upheld a high court order in her favour considering her old age and health issues. Her lawyers, however, said that the verdict was unlikely to bring the 72-year-old Zia out of prison as her bail pleas in at least five similar cases against her were pending hearing.Court officials said a four-member bench of Supreme Court’s Appellate Division headed by chief justice Syed Mahmud Hossain unanimously decided to grant bail to Zia, the chairperson of the Opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), upholding a previous High Court order. The bench dismissed the appeals filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) and the government challenging the High Court’s bail to Zia.Zia was sentenced to five years in jail on February 8 by a lower court in connection with the embezzlement of 21 million taka (about USD 250,000) in foreign donations meant for the Zia Orphanage Trust, named after her husband late Ziaur Rahman, a military ruler-turned-politician, during her 2001-2006 premiership.

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