Former Bangladesh PM Khaleda Zia gets bail in 5 cases

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Dhaka
  • Updated: Apr 06, 2016 01:24 IST
Khaleda Zia secured bail in a sedition case and four graft cases after she appeared in five separate courts in Dhaka on Tuesday. (REUTERS)

Former Bangladesh prime minister Khaleda Zia on Tuesday secured bail in five cases after she appeared in five separate courts in the capital amid tight security.

Zia is facing charges of sedition, sabotage and corruption but her Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) says the cases are politically motivated and meant to weaken the party.

Authorities have rejected her allegations and said she must take responsibility for violence and other offences.

Zia appeared in five courts in Dhaka’s old quarter and secured bail in hours as her supporters demonstrated outside court premises. There were no reports of violence during the protests.

Abdullah Abu, a prosecution lawyer, said the courts fixed different dates this month for Zia to respond to further legal procedures.

Zia got bail in a case related to the award of a contract for managing container terminals in Dhaka and the coastal city of Chittagong during her premiership in 2001-2006.

According to the case, the state lost a huge amount of money because of the contract done by her administration. But her lawyers said the deal was legally concluded without any corruption.

She also faces a case of sedition as she questioned the number of martyrs during the independence war against Pakistan in 1971. Bangladesh says Pakistani troops and local collaborators killed 3 million people but Zia recently expressed concern about the authenticity of this figure.

The government said Zia never questioned the official figure when she ruled the country as prime minister but is doing so now to confuse people and back war criminals.

Zia also faces a case of violence over an arson attack last year that killed one and injured 30 others.

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