The government has decided to extend the release period of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia for another six months.
The decision was taken as per the section 401 (1) of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC).
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal on Sunday (September 18) told reporters at his ministry office that a gazette notification will also be issued soon in this regard.
Meanwhile, the Law Ministry has already given its opinion in favour of extending the release period of the BNP chief.
Law Minister Anisul Huq gave his opinion in this regard a few days ago. The security services division under the Home Ministry will now issue a gazette notification in this regard.
“I have sent the relevant file with my opinion for extending the suspension of Khaleda Zia’s jail sentence to the home ministry which will now issue a gazette notification to this effect,” said the law minister.
He said that Khaleda Zia will take treatment from home and she will not be allowed to go abroad during this period as the conditions of the release.
The minister further said that the government released the BNP chief after suspending her jail sentence as per section 401 (1) of the Criminal Code of Procedure (CrPC).
On September 11, family members of Khaleda Zia filed an application seeking extension of release period of the former prime minister. On behalf of the family, Khaleda Zia’s younger brother Shamim Iskander submitted the application to the Home Ministry.
In the application, the family also requested the government to allow the BNP chief to go abroad for better treatment and sought unconditional release.
Earlier on September 10, Law Minister Anisul Huq had said that Khaleda Zia’s stay out of jail period will be extended again by an executive order if her family members submit application in this regard.
Lastly on March 23, Khaleda Zia’s jail sentence was suspended and the release period was extended by six months under the previous two conditions. The conditions are- during the release period, the chief will receive her treatment from her residence in the capital and it is stipulated that she will not be able to go abroad during this time.
Khaleda Zia spent some time in Old Dhaka Central Jail as a lower court sentenced her to five years' imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case on February 8 in 2018. Later, she was found guilty in another corruption case the same year.
Amid the coronavirus outbreak, the government temporarily freed Khaleda Zia from jail through an executive order suspending her sentence on March 25 in 2020, on conditions that she would stay at her Gulshan house, and would not leave the country.
The BNP chief was admitted to Evercare Hospital several times after she had tested positive for Covid-19 in April 2021. A special team of her personal physicians has been overseeing her treatment.
Khaleda Zia’s family submitted several applications to the government seeking permission to send her to an advanced centre abroad for the treatment of her multiple health complications, but the government has rejected it every time as she was convicted of corruption by the court in two cases.
The 76-year-old BNP leader has been suffering from various physical complications.