Court clears way for Bangladesh opposition leader’s trial

By on August 21, 2017


National Emblem of Bangladesh (Photo By Tonyjeff, based on national symbol - symbol adopted adopted shortly after the independence from Pakistan, in 1971., Public Domain)
National Emblem of Bangladesh (Photo By Tonyjeff, based on national symbol – symbol adopted adopted shortly after the independence from Pakistan, in 1971., Public Domain)

DHAKA, Bangladesh — Bangladesh’s top court on Monday cleared the way for the continuation of opposition leader Khaleda Zia’s trial on bribery charges for granting two contracts as prime minister from 2001-2006 that allegedly cost the government millions of dollars.

The Supreme Court’s appellate division rejected Zia’s petition to halt the trial.

Bangladesh’s Anti-Corruption Commission filed the bribery case against Zia and 12 others in 2007, alleging they violated government rules in awarding contracts for container management at two inland depots in the capital, Dhaka, and the port city of Chittagong.

If convicted, Zia — current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s archrival — will not be allowed to contest the next general election. Her Bangladesh Nationalist Party has said the case against her is politically motivated.

Zia is out on bail in the case and is undergoing medical treatment in London.

Prosecutor Khurshid Alam Khan said the trial would continue even while Zia is in London. It was not clear when she would return to Bangladesh.