The Bangladesh Supreme Court on Monday upheld its previous order that stayed the bail granted by a High Court to former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia in a 2015 murder case, Dhaka Tribune reported.
A four-member appellate bench led by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain also asked the High Court to dispose of the case within four weeks, according to bdnews24.
The Supreme Court’s decision means that the 72-year-old Zia, the leader of the Opposition, will have to remain in jail for another month, even if she receives bail in another case of corruption filed against her. In May, the Supreme Court granted her bail in a corruption case, for which she has been serving a five-year jail term.
On February 3, 2015, eight people were killed when a petrol bomb was hurled at their bus in Chauddagram in Cumilla district during protests organised by Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party and its ally Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami. Two separate cases – one for murder and another under the Explosives Act – were filed over the incident, following which a warrant was issued for Khaleda’s arrest.
The Cumilla Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court ordered Zia to be brought for a hearing on March 26. She is yet to be produced in the court because of her illness.
In the corruption case, Zia and five others, including her son Tarique Rahman, are accused of embezzling 21 million takas (approximately Rs 1.6 crore) in foreign donations meant for the Zia Orphanage Trust, which was established during her rule between 2001 and 2006.