Amid heightening tensions and various speculations, a special court here on Thursday convicted BNP Chairperson Khaleda and sentenced her to five years in the much-talked-about Zia.
Four other accused, including her son Tarique Rahman, was sentenced to 10 years’ jail each.
After Jatiya Party Chairman HM Ershad, Khaleda is the second head of the government convicted in a graft case.
Judge Md Akhtaruzzaman of special court-5 handed down the verdict in the sensational case in his crowded courtroom.
Earlier on January 25, Judge Akhtaruzzaman fixed the date for announcing the verdict after the defence had closed their arguments in the case.
The Anti-Corruption Commission filed the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case on July 3, 2008 with Ramna Police Station accusing Khaleda, her eldest son Tarique Rahman, now living in the UK, and four others of misappropriating over 2.10 crore that came as grants from a foreign bank for orphans.
Four other accused are former BNP MP Salimul Haq Kamal and businessman Sharfuddin Ahmed, former principal secretary Kamal Uddin Siddique and Mominur Rahman, nephew of late President Ziaur Rahman.
Kamal Uddin Siddique and Mominur Rahman have long been absconding.unb