Dhaka, April 5:
Former Bangladesh prime minister and BNP chief Khaleda Zia on Sunday returned home after being made to spend three months at her party office as a Dhaka court granted her bail in two corruption cases.
The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) leader headed to her residence in Gulshan area after the court gave her bail in the “Zia Charitable Trust” and “Zia Orphanage Trust” graft cases, bdnews24.com reported.
The cases relate to alleged embezzlement of over Taka 50 million (nearly $646,000).
On February 25, the court issued an arrest warrant against Zia after she skipped several hearings in the cases. On March 4, the court rejected her plea for withdrawal of the arrest warrant.
Two others accused with her were also granted bail. The cases would next be heard on May 5.
Defence lawyers had told the court that Zia’s absence was “unintentional”. Her absence was mainly owing to security reasons and her son Arafat Rahman Koko’s death, her lawyer Mahbubuddin Khokon said.
Zia had been living at her party office in Dhaka since January 3 after she threatened to lead an anti-government march on the first anniversary of a controversial general election.
The BNP-led 20-party opposition alliance, which boycotted the general election last year, has enforced a non-stop nationwide blockade since January 5 demanding fresh parliamentary polls under a non-party caretaker government.