Govt extends Khaleda Zia’s stay out of jail by another 6 months

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The government has decided to extend the suspension of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s prison sentence by another six months, allowing her to stay out of jail for that duration.

The decision was confirmed to the media by Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan at his offices at the ministry on Sunday.

“Khaleda Zia’s family, specifically her younger brother … made a petition to extend the time, subject to conditions,” the home minister said. “We scrutinised his application and then approved it.”

“She can receive her treatment at home in whatever way she wants. But she cannot leave the country. The conditions that were previously set for her release will be maintained.”

The suspension of Khaleda Zia's prison sentence has been extended twice before. It was last extended in March and the extension expired on Sept 15.

The government suspended Khaleda’s imprisonment order in March 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic under the condition that the former prime minister underwent treatment in Bangladesh and did not leave the country. The BNP chief has been living at her Gulshan residence since.

She had served 25 months out of a 17-year prison sentence in two graft cases involving the Zia Orphanage Trust and Zia Charitable Trust.