Bangladesh Court Orders Arrest of Former PM Zia

Bangladesh Court Orders Arrest of Former PM ZiaBangladesh Court Orders Arrest of Former PM Zia

A court in Bangladesh issued a warrant on Wednesday for the arrest of opposition leader Khaleda Zia, amid a political stand-off in the country.

Zia is charged with embezzling $650,000 in two corruption cases dating back to her time as premier in 2001 to 2006 that could see her jailed for life if found guilty.

The court in Dhaka acted after Zia failed to appear in connection with a corruption case, BBC reported.

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) leader denies embezzling hundreds of thousands of dollars in charitable funds. Her party is engaged in a major confrontation with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government.

Last month, Zia urged her supporters to go on strike and block roads and railways to force Hasina to call fresh elections. Since then at least 100 people have died in clashes around the country.

The BNP boycotted polls in January 2014, saying they would be rigged.

At Wednesday’s court hearing Khaleda Zia’s lawyers said the former prime minister was unwell but the court rejected that argument.