The government has decided to extend the suspension of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s jail sentence for six more months on some conditions, Law Minister Anisul Huq told The Daily Star last night.
Replying to another question, the minister said, “She would not be allowed to go abroad.”
The decision came after the family members of the former prime minister sought a six months’ extension on the government order that released her for six months in March.
Her younger brother Shamim Iskandar recently applied to the home ministry seeking the extension. The ministry later forwarded the application to the law ministry seeking legal opinion.
Suspension of her sentence is scheduled to expire on September 24.
Khaleda, who has been convicted in two corruption cases, was freed from prison on March 25 after she had spent there 776 days.
The government through an executive order released her for six months on conditions that she will stay home in the capital and not leave the country.
It suspended her sentence as per section 401 of the Criminal Code of Procedure on “humanitarian grounds”.
On the day of her being freed, Khaleda went to her home “Firoza” in Gulshan in her brother’s car directly from Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, where she was taking treatment for several months. She has been living in Firoza since then.
The 75-year-old former prime minister has been suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and ophthalmological and dental ailments, said her physicians.
The BNP chief landed in jail on February 8, 2018, after a special court sentenced her to five years in prison in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case. On October 30 that year, the High Court raised her punishment to 10 years in the case.
In the Zia Charitable Trust graft case on October 29, 2018, a court jailed Khaleda and three others for seven years.
Besides, she has been facing more than 30 cases on different charges and the cases are now at different stages.