The Appellate Division upheld the High Court order granting bail to the BNP Chairperson in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case
The Supreme Court’s Appellate Division has upheld the High Court order granting bail to BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.
But she is still facing legal bars against walking out of jail, said her lawyer and BNP Standing Committee Member Moudud Ahmed.
“There are some barriers. The government will try to apply tricks to linger on her release,” he told reporters after the order on Wednesday.
Moudud said the BNP chief had been made accused in a number of cases pending in the trial court.
“We have to arrange her bail in these cases. We have to wait until the time required getting the bail [in the cases].”
He said they would try to expedite the bail procedure.
The BNP leader said since the Appellate Division upheld Khaleda’s bail there should not be much trouble in getting bail.
“Khaleda Zia will come back to us very soon after she gets bail in these cases,” said Moudud, adding that the BNP chief is now facing seven cases in the trial court.
However, Khaleda’s other counsel, Khandker Mahbub Hossain, said she would be released through legal procedure. “If the government does not use evil force then she will hopefully be released soon.”
Earlier in the day, a four-member bench, led by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, upheld the High Court order after rejecting appeals filed by the state and the Anti-Corruption Commission.
The High Court has also been ordered to resolve Khaleda’s appeal challenging her conviction by July 31.
Asked whether it is possible to resolve an appeal by this time, Moudud said: “We will get to know it once the hearing begins.”
The former prime minister was sentenced to five years in jail on February 8 for embezzling donations meant for the orphanage. Since then she has been kept at the old Dhaka central jail.
Five others, including her son Tarique Rahman, were sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment and fined Tk2.1 crore each for their role in the case.
Khaleda had secured four months' bail from the High Court on March 12. Two days later, the ACC and the state filed two leave-to-appeal petitions with the Appellate Division challenging her bail.
Later, the apex court on March 19 stayed the bail until May 8.
Hearings on the appeal petitions filed by the state and the ACC were held on May 8 and 9.
The ACC had filed the case on July 3, 2008, against Khaleda, her son Tarique, and four others for misappropriating Tk 2.1 crore from the trust fund.