Zia has challenged her conviction and the five-year jail term in the Orphanage Trust corruption case in the high court.
The Supreme Court had earlier suspended the lower court's decision to grant Zia bail, prompting her Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) to condemn the move as part of a campaign by Hasina to silence the opposition ahead of a looming national election.
On Khaleda's freedom from jail, BNP lawyer Moudud Ahmed said: "We have to try to seek bail in other cases for that".
DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) - Bangladesh's Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a High Court's decision to grant bail to opposition leader and former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, who was jailed for five years on a corruption conviction. The apex court deferred the date for the verdict after Attorney General Mahbubey Alam and Khaleda's lawyer Zainul Abedin placed some arguments on the appeals yesterday.
A four member bench headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain heard her bail plea.
ACC lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan told reporters that the Appellate Division has ordered the court to settle the appeal by July 31.
The bail, however, does not allow Khaleda to get freedom from jail so soon, as she is named as an arrestee in other cases, lawyers said.
He said Khaleda was shown arrested in the cases filed with different police stations in Cumilla, Dhaka, Narail and Panchagarh.
The Appellate Division also asked the state, ACC and the defence to submit the concise statements on their respective appeals in the case within two weeks and set May 8 for holding hearing in the matter.
A special court had in February this year sentenced Khaleda Zia, her elder son Tarique Rahman and four others for embezzlement of funds meant for Zia Orphanage Trust.
Zia's lawyer Khandakar Mahbub Hossain told The Daily Star that the 72-year-old chairperson of Bangladesh Nationalist Party can not be released from jail despite Wednesday's judgment, as she has been arrested in three other cases. Later, the Appellate Division stayed Khaleda Zia's bail until May 8 in the case.
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