DHAKA: Two-time former Prime Minister and Bangladesh’s opposition leader Khaleda Zia has been jailed for five years.
The Special Court-5 judge Mohammad Akhtaruzzaman sentenced Zia on Thursday morning for embezzling money meant for an orphanage.
Khaleda Zia is the chairperson of the country’s main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).
She and five of his party members are accused of embezzlement of funds allocated for the Zia Orphanage Trust.
The BNP chairperson was convicted of embezzling more than $260,000. An allegation she claims is politically-motivated.
Zia’s elder son Tarique Rahman, the vice president of the party, and four others have been given 10 years.
The conviction has a significance in the perspective of Bangladesh’s politics, which means she won’t be able to run in the general elections due to be held in December this year.
Violent clashes broke out between security forces and protesters in the Bangladesh capital, ahead of the verdict.
Police fired tear gas at thousands of opposition activists who defied heavy security to escort the car taking Zia, a two-time former prime minister, to a Dhaka court for the verdict.