The government today extended suspension of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's prison sentences for six more months following a request of her family.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan told media on Monday that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina approved the extension today.
Her bail period has been extended with the previous conditions remaining unchanged. During the time, Khaleda Zia will not allowed to leave the country.
Earlier on 3 March, this year, the family of Khaleda Zia filed a plea with the home ministry seeking an extension of her suspended prison sentence. Khaleda's family sought permission for her treatment abroad.
Khaleda Zia, 76, is currently living in her rented house in Gulshan. She is suffering from arthritis pain, diabetes, eye problems and other old-age problems.
Verdict in corruption case and jail term suspension
On 8 February in 2018, Khaleda Zia was sentenced to five years in prison in Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case. She was later punished in the Zia Charitable Trust corruption case. There are 34 more cases filed against her.
The former prime minister was temporarily released by the government on an executive order on March 25 last year amid the coronavirus pandemic following a family plea.
The jail term suspension period ended on 24 September the same year. Later, it was extended again till 24 March this year.
Rise and fall of Khaleda Zia
Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Chairperson Khaleda Zia served as prime minister of Bangladesh thrice, first from 1991 to 1996, second one for a short term in 1996 and then from 2001 to 2006.
Born in 1945, Khaleda Khanam "Putul" is the wife of BNP founder Ziaur Rahman.
After Ziaur Rahman's assassination on 30 May in 1981, Khaleda Zia got involved in politics. She played an important role in the anti-Ershad movement.
The caretaker government in Bangladesh oversaw the national elections in 1991 after eight years of Ershad's regime.
BNP won 140 seats and Khaleda Zia was sworn in as the country's first woman prime minister on 20 March in 1991 with the support of a majority of the deputies in parliament.
Her party resumed for three months after a controversial election on 15 February, 1996. The short-lived parliament hastily introduced the caretaker government by passing the 13th amendment to the constitution. The parliament was dissolved to pave the way for parliamentary elections within 90 days.
Later, in an election on 12 June in 1996, BNP lost to Awami League. BNP emerged as the largest opposition party in the country's parliamentary history.
However, she regained in power again from 2001-2006.
Later, a political crisis began as the caretaker government assumed power in the end of October 2006 following the end of term of the BNP administration.
The fall of Khaleda Zia began after being defeated by Awami League in 2008 elections.
Bitter power struggle was seen between Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia.
BNP's boycott of the election in 2014 stripped Khaleda Zia of status of opposition leader.
During the 2007–08 caretaker government rule, ACC had filed a graft case, accusing Khaleda Zia and five others for misappropriating around Tk 2.1 crore that had come from a foreign bank as grants for orphans.
On 8 February 2018, during the Awami League government rule, Khaleda was sentenced to prison for five years in that corruption case.
Later, in October 2018, the High Court raised Khaleda's jail term to 10 years after ACC pleaded for a revision.
On October 2018, in another case, Zia Charitable Trust Graft Case, Khaleda Zia was sentenced to 7 years of imprisonment who is also an accused in other 32 cases including Gatco Graft Case, Niko Graft Case, Barapukuria Coal Mine Graft Case, Darussalam Police Station Cases, Jatrabari Police Station Cases, Sedition Case, Bomb Attack on Shipping Minister Case, Khulna Arson Case, Cumilla Arson Case, Celebrating Fake Birthday Case, Undermining National Flag Case and Loan Default Case.
Khaleda was freed from the prison on March 25, 2020 after spending 776 days in prison. The government suspended her jail term amid Covid-19 outbreak in the country. Later the suspension was extended for twice. In the latest, government extended her jail term suspension for third time.