Bangladesh former premier Khaleda Zia convicted of corruption charges

Bangladesh former premier Khaleda Zia convicted of corruption charges
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DHAKA: A court in Bangladesh sentenced opposition leader Khaleda Zia to five years in jail on Thursday after convicting the two-time former premier of embezzling money meant for an orphanage.

Prosecutors were seeking life imprisonment for Zia — a two-time former prime minister and head of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party — for allegedly embezzling 21 million taka ($252,000) through a charity trust fund.

With the guilty verdict, Zia,a former ally turned arch-nemesis of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, will no longer be able to contest the general election slated for December.

Police had banned street protests and rounded up what opposition figures said was thousands of their supporters in a crackdown ahead of Thursday's court ruling in the capital, Dhaka.

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