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Bangladesh court jails ex-prime minister Khaleda Zia for five years for corruption

The opposition leader will now be barred from running in national elections due to be held in December.

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Bangladesh Opposition Leader

Bangladesh Opposition Leader

Bangladesh Opposition Leader

Former Bangladesh prime minister Khaleda Zia has been sentenced to five years in prison on corruption charges.

The conviction means that Zia, the longtime rival to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, will be barred from running in the next national elections scheduled for December.

Judge Mohammed Akhtaruzzaman announced the verdict in a courtroom in Dhaka’s Old City in Zia’s presence.

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Bangladesh Opposition Leader

Bangladesh Opposition Leader

AP/PA Images

Bangladesh Opposition Leader

She was convicted of embezzling $248,154 (£178,000) in donations meant for an orphanage trust established when she was prime minister from 2001-2006.

The judge also jailed Zia’s son, Tarique Rahman, and four others for 10 years for their involvement in the crime.

Security forces have swarmed Bangladesh’s cities ahead of the verdict, fearing clashes with Zia’s supporters.

PA