Khaleda can't join polls if sentence not cancelled: AG

Khaleda can’t join polls if sentence not cancelled: AG

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Dhaka, Oct 30 – Attorney General Mahbubey Alam on Tuesday said BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia cannot participate in the upcoming national election until her sentence in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case is cancelled.“Until her (Khaleda’s) sentence is cancelled, she can’t participate in the election. If the sentenced is suspended, she might escape serving jail term but can’t join the polls,” he said while talking to reporters at his office.
The attorney general was giving his instant reaction to a High Court verdict extending the jail term of the BNP chief in the graft case to 10 years from five years.
He said the verdict in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case is a message for all politicians. “This verdict certainly bears a sign that if anyone commits a crime while in power, he/she can’t remain above the law.”
About BNP’s allegation that the verdict is ‘one-sided which meant’ for keeping Khaleda away from the national election, Mahbubey described it as hollow.
He, however, said the BNP chief can appeal with the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court within 30 days against the High Court judgment.
Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan said Khaleda’s bail will automatically be cancelled as the HC rejected her three petitions.
Khaleda secured four months’ bail from the High Court in the case on March 12.
On February 8, the Dhaka Special Court-5 convicted the former Prime Minister and BNP chairperson and sentenced her to five years' imprisonment in the graft case.
The BNP chief filed a petition on February 19 challenging the lower court verdict. In her petition, she sought her acquittal while two more convicts – Kazi Solimul Haque Kamal and Sarfuddin Ahmed — also appealed against their sentences.
The Anti-Corruption Commission filed a revision appeal seeking her sentence to be extended to life imprisonment.

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