A Bangladeshi court has issued an arrest warrant for opposition leader Khaleda Zia for failing to attend hearings for graft charges, amid growing political turmoil in the country.

Dhaka's anti-corruption court Judge Abu Ahmed "issued the warrant against her" despite her house arrest since January, her lawyer Sanaullah Miah said on Wednesday.

"There is no justice in the country," Miah told reporters outside the court, protesting against the decision.

Zia is charged with embezzling $650,000 in two corruption cases dating back to her time as premier in 2001-2006 that could see her jailed for life if found guilty.

Authorities have confined the former two-time premier since early January when she called on her supporters to enforce a nationwide transport blockade in efforts to topple the government of her bitter rival Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

The protests have unleashed deadly violence across the country leaving more than 100 people dead.

Zia, 69, has called the embezzlement charges politically motivated and aimed at destroying her Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP). 

The opposition leader also faces unrelated charges over the ongoing violence.

Source: AFP