The government has decided to free BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia from jail for six months suspending her sentences upon two conditions.
Law Minister Annisul Huq came up with the announcement at a press conference on Tuesday at his Gulshan office.
The conditions are receiving treatment staying at her Gulshan residence and not leaving the country.
He said the former prime minister’s sentences have been suspended as per section 401 of Criminal Code of Procedure (CrPcC).
The Law Minister said they took the decision at the directives of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina considering her age and humanitarian ground.
He said he sent his opinion about Khaleda’s release to the Home Ministry.
Annisul said the Home Ministry will now take necessary steps to release Khaleda.
He said the government’s order will come into effect when the Home Ministry releases her from jail.
The law minister said the government is going to release her following the legal process.
Asked how she will receive treatment at her house, he said. “It’s not been mentioned in the condition that she would not be able to receive treatment at hospital. Her admission to hospital will depend on her condition. That’s why we mentioned she’ll receive treatment at her home.”
He further said if Khaleda needs to go to hospital, then she will be receiving treatment at the country’s most standard hospital.
He said the BNP chief will not be allowed to go abroad for treatment. “Sending anyone abroad under the current situation means pushing him/her to commit suicide.”
Meanwhile, Khaleda Zia’s sister Selima Islam thanked the government for taking a positive decision to release the BNP chief.
She said they will go to the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) to bring Khaleda to her house when the government informs them about the completion of all the processes.
Selima said they will take decision about Khaleda’s treatment later in consultation with the government.
Meanwhile, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said the worry of the country’s people about Khaleda’s health condition will be eased with her relase from the prison.
Asked whether they consider the decision a positive one, he said they will make comment about it after reviewing the conditions given for Khaleda’s release.
Meanwhile, a source at the Home Ministry said the Law Ministry’s recommendation about the BNP chairperson’s release reached the Home Ministry by 5pm.
The ministry will have to complete some procedures to free Khaleda.
According to the source, a summary of the Law Ministry’s recommendation for Khaleda’s release will be sent to the Prime Minister soon.
Upon approval by the Prime Minister, they will send it to the jail authorities for taking steps in this regard.
Khaleda has been in jail since she was convicted in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case on February 8, 2018.
She was found guilty in another corruption case later the same year, though her party claims both cases are politically motivated.
She has been receiving treatment at BSMMU since April 1 last year.