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Ex-Bangladesh Leader Sentenced to Five Years in Prison
Former Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia has been sentenced to five years in prison on corruption charges.
Zia received the verdict Thursday in a courtroom in the capital, Dhaka. She was convicted of embezzling up to $250,000 from a trust fund dedicated to an orphanage.
Zia's son, Tarique Rahman, and four other people convicted in the case were sentenced by the judge to 10 years in prison for their involvement in the crime.
The conviction bars Zia, the head of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, from running in the next national elections set for December. Her lawyers have denounced the case as politically motivated.
Thousands of Zia's supporters poured onto the streets of Dhaka ahead of Thursday's hearing and escorted her motorcade to the courtroom, despite the heavy presence of riot police deployed throughout the city.
Bangladesh's political scene has been dominated for years by a bitter rivalry between Zia and current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.