By SM Najmus Sakib
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AA) - Bangladeshi authorities on Tuesday extended the conditional release of an opposition political party leader by six months, according to an official order.
Abu Bakar Siddique, additional secretary of the Interior Ministry, confirmed the extension of Khaleda Zia's release to Anadolu Agency, saying the ministry had issued an official notification in the South Asian country's government gazette to this effect.
Zia, who leads the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and is a three-time former prime minister, had been freed from a prison sentence in an executive order on health grounds following an application by her family on March 25.
She was released after serving 25 months in jail on several corruption charges. However, her party claimed that those charges are politically motivated.
During the conditional suspension order on her 17-year jail term, which will come into effect on Sept. 25, Zia will have to stay home in the capital Dhaka and receive necessary medical treatment.
Zia is the widow of assassinated former Bangladeshi President Ziaur Rahman.