Bangladesh's Supreme Court yesterday ordered the release from detention of 72-year-old opposition leader Khaleda Zia after her lawyers argued she was unwell.
In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court upheld a lower court's decision to grant Zia bail while she appeals against a jail term imposed in February for corruption, her lawyer Joynal Abedin said.
Zia's lawyers said they told the court that the three-time former prime minister, the arch-rival of current leader Sheikh Hasina, faced serious health risks if kept in prison.
Zia underwent a hospital check-up last month.
The Supreme Court had earlier suspended the lower court's decision to grant Zia bail, prompting her Bangladesh Nationalist Party to condemn the move as part of a campaign by Hasina to silence the opposition ahead of a looming national election.
It was not clear, however, when Zia would be released from the special prison in Dhaka where she is the only inmate.
Abedin said Zia was officially considered under arrest in five other cases and she needs to get bail for each one.
She was jailed for five years in February.