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Bangladesh: Khaleda Zia admitted to specialised state-run hospital

PTI | Updated on: 06 Oct 2018, 06:07:22 PM
Bangladesh former prime minister Khaleda Zia (File Photo)


Bangladesh’s jailed former prime minister and BNP chief Khaleda Zia was on Saturday admitted to a specialised state-run hospital here for proper treatment following a court order as her health deteriorated.

Zia, 73, is currently on trial for corruption charges in a makeshift courtroom inside a 19th-century British-built prison where she is the only inmate and in failing health.

The former prime minister had recently complained to the court that she was losing feeling in her hand and in a leg.

“We have admitted her and took all steps to provide her the required treatment,” a Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) spokesman told PTI.

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Zia would be staying at a VIP cabin in the hospital while an adjacent room has been allocated for her, he said.

The Bangladesh High Court on Thursday had ordered the government to shift Zia to BSMMU and reconstitute a medical team for her treatment.

The court ruled that Zia could choose a physiotherapist, a gynaecologist and a technician and a physician from outside Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) for her treatment subject to the approval from the medical team.

It also directed the authorities to start Zia’s medical treatment soon after her admission to hospital.

Zia filed a writ petition on September 9 seeking treatment for her various ailments at a private hospital of her choice. The government insisted that she must prefer a government facility like the BSMMU or Combined Military Hospital (CMH) for treatment.

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A police car brought the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chief out of the prison. Many BNP activists were at the hospital to see Khaleda, but were blocked from approaching her by the police.

Zia was jailed for five years in February after being convicted of corruption involving an orphanage, a sentence that triggered clashes between police and thousands of her supporters.

She was granted bail in a corruption case in May but remains in jail while she fights dozens of other violence and graft charges.

Zia was found guilty then of embezzling money intended for an orphanage, a charge she dismissed as politically motivated.

She is appealing against the verdict which bars her from standing in a general election to be held in December.

The BNP alleges that the trial was politically motivated to debar her from contesting elections, but the government denies the allegation.

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First Published : 06 Oct 2018, 06:06:59 PM