Khandaker Mahbub Hossain, representing BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case, described the lawsuit ‘politically motivated’ during the closing argument of the case.
The lawyer told a special court in Old Dhaka, where the trial in the case is proceeding, that the case was filed to harass Khaleda and remove her from politics.
“The allegation of embezzlement has not been proven by the prosecution, and evidence against Khaleda Zia was not presented in the case,” he said on Thursday.
Khandaker Mahbub, also a senior BNP leader, started his argument around 11:30 am, after the party chief appeared before the court.
Meanwhile, Judge Md Akhtaruzzaman of the Dhaka Special Judge's Court-5, erected in Bakshibazar, deferred the hearing until January 3.
He also ordered the remaining argument be completed by January 4.
After Khandaker Mahbub, Khaleda’s other counsel AJ Mohammad Ali started placing his arguments around 12:45 pm and claimed that the case was filed by using fake documents.
However, public prosecutor Mosharaf Hossain Kajol refuted the allegation, saying: “There was no false document (against Khaleda).”
His statement led to an altercation between the defence and prosecution lawyers then, prompting the judge to adjourn the hearing.
Previously, Abdur Rezak Khan concluded his defence statement on Wednesday after placing arguments for four consecutive days.
He then told the court that Khaleda did not even have any distant link to the process (of embezzlement), let alone misuse of power for setting up the trust, receiving donation from a former Kuwaiti ameer, and disbursing the money.
“I have made an extensive submission to you [judge] proving that she [Khaleda] is innocent. I hope she will be honourably cleared of all the charges as the prosecution failed to prove any,” he said.
On December 19, the prosecution wrapped up its argument seeking life imprisonment for Khaleda and the rest five accused in the case.
The Anti-Corruption Commission had filed the case on July 3, 2008, against Khaleda, her son Tarique Rahman and four others for allegedly misappropriating Tk 2.1 crore from the trust fund.