“The ministry gave its opinion after reviewing the appeal. The documents will be sent to the Ministry of Interior and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s office will approve it afterwards. We are unable to reveal the decision as long that the process is not over,” Justice Minister Anisul Huq said on Monday.
His remarks indicate that the Justice Department has not changed its mind on the decision regarding Khaleda’s treatment abroad.
The family decided to appeal on the advice of doctors after Khaleda, who was hospitalized with COVID-19, complained of respiratory distress. Convicted in two corruption cases, she is the subject of a suspended sentence granted by the government in accordance with article 401 of the Penal Code.
The government needed to see if it was possible to ease the terms of Khaleda’s suspended sentence, Minister Huq previously told reporters.
“It was an executive order; now the court no longer has the opportunity to work on it,” he observed.
Khaleda had been living at her residence in Gulshan since the government granted her a suspended sentence in March 2020.
She had served 25 months of 17 years in prison in two corruption cases involving the Zia Orphanage Trust and the Zia Charitable Trust.
The government imposed two conditions on the suspended sentence: Khaleda cannot travel abroad and she must be treated at home.
The 76-year-old politician had been undergoing treatment at the capital’s Evercare Hospital since April 27 after testing positive for coronavirus on April 11. She was again taken to hospital on November 13 and diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver.
Khaleda’s family repeatedly requested to take her abroad immediately for treatment. Authorities had denied the request each time citing the issue of Khaleda’s suspended sentence.