Bangladesh was on high alert ahead of handing down a verdict Thursday against opposition leader and former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia in a politically sensitive corruption case.The case involves an orphanage trust established during Zia’s last premiership in 2001-2006. The charges allege Zia, her elder son Tarique Rahman and four others were involved in embezzling $248,154 from the trust. If found guilty, they face a maximum punishment of life in prison. Thousands of police and other security forces were patrolling the main cities and towns. Bangladesh is a parliamentary democracy but its politics is deeply fractious with Hasina and Zia having ruled the country alternately since 1991, when democracy was restored. In the last election in 2014, Zia’s party and other partners boycotted the race, making way for Hasina to return to power with a landslide victory.
(The Washington Post)