The Bangladesh High Court on Tuesday scaled up the jail term of main opposition leader Khaleda Zia from five to 10 years.
The ruling came following a review petition by the country's Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to increase her imprisonment in a graft case.
In February, a lower court sentenced Zia, 73, to five years in prison and her son Tarique Rahman and four others to 10 years for embezzling money meant for an orphanage.
In a separate case in October, Zia and three other party workers were sentenced to seven years in jail.
Prosecution lawyers told reporters following the verdict that the Bangladesh National Party (BNP) chief will not be able to contest general elections due in December.
“This verdict means that Khaleda Zia will not be able to contest in the upcoming election,” ACC lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan said, according to daily Dhaka Tribune.
During the hearing, Deputy Attorney General Farhad Ahmed and Khan were present in the court, but no defense lawyers.
Zia's lawyer Zainul Abedin refused to comment on the issue.
Meanwhile BNP-backed lawyers protested against the verdict in front of the Supreme Court Bar Association office.
Zia, widow of assassinated former President Ziaur Rahman, faces dozens of charges related to violence and corruption that her lawyers insist are politically motivated.
She has been serving jail time for the last eight months in Dhaka.
Her health is deteriorating, doctors say, for which she is undergoing treatment.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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