B'desh Ex-PM Khaleda Zia freed from prison | world | Hindustan Times
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B'desh Ex-PM Khaleda Zia freed from prison

world Updated: Sep 11, 2008 20:50 IST
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Former Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia was released from prison on bail Thursday after being detained for a year on graft charges.

Zia, the Chairperson of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) who faces graft charges in four cases, walked free after a year from a makeshift jail at Parliament premises after apparently striking a deal with the military-backed interim government.

Soon after her release, Zia announced that the BNP would contest and win elections due in December.

All legal impediments to her release were removed with the HC granting her three months' ad-interim bail in her last two graft cases on Tuesday and necessary papers for her release were submitted to the jail authorities last night.

Zia, 63, first went to meet Tarique at a city hospital and stayed in his cabin for about one and a-half hour, flanked by daughter-in-law Zubaida Rahman and granddaughter Zaima Rahman along with BNP secretary general Khandaker Delwar Hossain and other senior leaders.

Tarique, who faces charges in 13 cases was arrested on March 7 last year and released on bail last week. He will leave the country any time soon for treatment abroad.

Zia then visited her husband and former President Ziaur Rahman's grave before driving to party headquarters from where she will head to her Shaheed Mainul Road residence in the Cantonment area, party sources said.

Hundreds of leaders and activists including senior party leaders chanted slogans, while some released pigeons and balloons to celebrate their party chief's release.

Khaleda and her younger son Arafat Rahman Koko were arrested on September 3 last year and a Dhaka court sent her to a sub-jail a couple of hours later. Koko, who was released on July 17 through a government executive order, left for Singapore on July 19 for treatment.