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Former Bangladesh PM Khaleda Zia sentenced to 7 years in jail in corruption case

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Dhaka, Oct 29: A special court in Bangladesh's capital has sentenced former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia to seven years in jail in Zia Charitable Trust corruption case.

Khaleda Zia

A judge in the capital Dhaka found her guilty of graft charges linked to the misappropriation of 31.5 million taka ($375,000) set aside for a charity.

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party chief and three others, including Harris Chowdhury, her secretary, were sentenced in the Zia Charitable Trust corruption case.

Earlier in the day, Bangladesh's Supreme Court had rejected a leave-to-appeal petition filed by Zia, which challenged the High Court judgment that allowed a lower court to continue the trial in the graft case in her absence.

On September 20, the court had decided to carry on with the trial inside the old Dhaka central jail in Zia's absence. Zia had filed a revision petition in the High Court (HC) September 27 seeking to halt the proceedings. The plea was rejected, clearing the way for the trial court to continue the hearing. Zia had skipped appearances in the case citing ill health.

Zia has been in prison since February when she was sentenced to five years for embezzling funds for an orphanage.

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