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Bangladesh court doubles jail term for ex-PM Khaleda Zia

Bangladesh court doubles jail term for ex-PM Khaleda Zia
Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia waves to activists as she arrives for a rally in Dhaka in this file picture taken January 20, 2014.REUTERS/Andrew Biraj/Files   -   Copyright  Andrew Biraj(Reuters)
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DHAKA (Reuters) – A Bangladesh court on Tuesday doubled a jail term to 10 years for former prime minister Khaleda Zia for corruption, lawyers said.

The High Court decision ruled out her chances of contesting a general election in December, Khurshid Alam Khan, a lawyer for the government told reporters.

In February, Khaleda, her son and aides were convicted of stealing 21 million taka ($253,000) in foreign donations for an orphanage trust set up when she was last prime minister, from 2001 to 2006.

She denied wrongdoing and her Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) says her conviction in February is aimed at keeping her and her family out of politics.

“Now, there’s no chance for the BNP chief to contest the next election,” Khan said.

Khaleda and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, both related to former national leaders, have dominated politics in poverty-stricken Bangladesh for more than two decades, nursing a long and bitter rivalry.

(Reporting by Ruma Paul; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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