DHAKA (AFP) - Former Bangladeshi Prime Minister Khaleda Zia and her eldest son will go on trial charged with embezzling more than 300,000 dollars meant for an orphanage, a Dhaka court ruled Monday. Zia, leader of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), appeared at a pre-trial hearing following an investigation launched in 2007 by the emergency government then in power. The court accepted that there is a case to be heard against her and five others, including her oldest son Tareque Rahman, Zias lawyer, Khorshed Alam, told AFP. Begum Zia and Tareque deny any wrongdoing and believe the charges are politically motivated. During her two terms in office, Zia planned to build an orphanage named after her late husband Ziaur Rahman, who was president of Bangladesh until his assassination in 1981. But she is accused of stealing 21 million taka (305,000 dollars) donated to the project by a Kuwaiti businessman. Her next court appearance is scheduled for October 25. If found guilty she faces a possible life sentence. Security was tight in the court as thousands of supporters lined the streets outside. Zia suffered a crushing defeat in elections in December and her party holds just 10 percent of seats in parliament, with her bitter rival and current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina holding an outright majority. Both women were charged during the emergency governments regime on counts of corruption, and each spent a year behind bars only to be released as part of deals to ensure they took part in the election. Many charges have since been dropped. Tareque Rahman was frequently referred to as the most powerful man in Bangladesh when his mother was prime minister in her second term from 2001 to 2006. He was arrested by the emergency regime and is now abroad seeking medical treatment and alleges he was tortured in custody. His lawyer said he would not return for the trial. Zias youngest son, Arafat Rahman Koko, also faces corruption charges and is accused of laundering more than 2.7 million dollars through bank accounts in Singapore. He is also abroad for medical treatment.