[JURIST] Former Bangladeshi prime minister Khaleda Zia [BNP profile] surrendered on Tuesday to a court after an arrest warrant was issued against her in connection with the firebombing bus attack [Al Jazeera report] last year staged in opposition of the government. She was granted bail [Reuters report] on consideration of her physical condition and her age of 70. Arrest warrants have also been issued for 27 others in the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) [party website] for suspected involvement in the attack.
In January Zia was ordered to appear in court [JURIST report] following charges of sedition. Zia was granted bail last April after surrendering to the court in Dhaka. The leader of the opposition BNP, Zia had been voluntarily confined [BBC report] to her office since January of last year. She faces charges of embezzling money stemming from two corruption cases between 2001 and 2006. The trial began in 2014, and an arrest warrant [JURIST reports] was issued in February of last year when she failed to appear in court. In May 2008 Bangladesh’s Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) [official website] filed formal charges against Zia for an alleged kickback scheme that awarded lucrative gas contracts to Canadian oil company Niko Resources Ltd. In March 2014 the former prime minister and other members of the BNP were indicted [JURIST report] on two corruption charges, accused of embezzling funds from a charitable trust named after Zia’s deceased husband. Bangladesh’s High Court ruled Zia must stand trial [JURIST report] on corruption charges last April.