Bangladesh High Court accepts appeal by ex-PM in graft case

Bangladesh's High Court has accepted an appeal by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia of her five-year prison sentence in a corruption case.

A panel of two judges heard arguments from both sides in a packed courtroom Thursday and asked authorities to submit case records to it within 15 days.

The court stayed a decision to fine Zia $250,000 in the verdict and set next Sunday to hear her petition for bail.

Zia, currently the country's opposition leader, was convicted on Feb. 8 of misusing power in embezzling about $250,000 in donations meant for an orphanage trust established when she first became prime minister in 1991. Defense lawyers say the verdict was politically motivated.

Her conviction means that Zia could be barred from running in December elections.