A Bangladesh court on Thursday sentenced former prime minister and BNP chief Khaleda Zia to five years imprisonment on corruption charges.
Zia, 72, was sentenced by the Special Court-5 in the capital, Dhaka, in connection with embezzlement of 21 million takas (USD 252,000) in foreign donations meant for the Zia Orphanage Trust. Khaleda's son Tarique Rahman and four others have been sentenced to 10 years in jail in the same case.
On November 30, 2014, Zia had lost her last ditch effort to evade the graft trial as the Supreme Court turned down her second 'leave to appeal' petition challenging her indictment and asked her to face trial in the lower court.
The high court earlier validated the trial in the lower court which on March 19, 2014 had indicted Zia on two graft charges brought by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
The ACC alleged that the two charities, the other being the Zia Charitable Trust, existed only on paper and a huge amount of money was misappropriated in the name of the two organisations while Zia was premier during the BNP's 2001-2006 government.