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Bangladesh Supreme Court Orders Khaleda Zia Released on Bail


Bangladesh opposition leader and former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia arrives in the court for her verdict in Dhaka, Feb. 8, 2018.

Bangladesh's Supreme Court has upheld a lower court's decision to grant bail to former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia.

Zia was convicted back in February on charges of embezzling up to $250,000 from a trust fund dedicated to an orphanage during her tenure as prime minister from 2001-2006. She was sentenced to five years in prison.

The conviction bars the 72-year-old Zia, the head of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, from running in the next national elections set for December. Her lawyers have denounced the case as politically motivated.

Bangladesh's political scene has been dominated by a bitter rivalry between Zia and current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the daughter and widow of assassinated presidents, who have traded power back and forth for decades.

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