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Zia Charitable Trust case: No justice here, Khaleda claims at her trial

  • Published at 03:05 pm September 5th, 2018
File photo of old Dhaka central jail Focus Bangla

She entered the court in a wheelchair at 12:15pm on Wednesday

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia told the special court, that was shifted to old Dhaka central jail in Nazimuddin Road, that she "would not find any justice there".

After entering the court in a wheelchair, at 12:15pm, for her trial in the Zia Charitable Trust corruption case, which began on Wednesday, the three-time elected former prime minister said the court could "punish her as long and as much as they wanted".

Khaleda complained of illness, citing pain in her legs as a reason not to be able to sit in the court for too long. 

She said that none of her lawyers have been allowed to be present during her hearing. Khaleda's lawyer Md Sanaullah Mia stated that they had not been informed of the shift from the makeshift court at Bakshibazar to old Dhaka central jail.

Judge Md Akhtaruzzaman of the Special Judge Court-5 deferred her hearing to September 12 and 13. 

A gazette notification was issued by the Law Ministry, regarding the court shift, on Tuesday. It mentioned that the court had been moved to inside the jail for security reasons.

It also said the makeshift court would be set up in Room No 7 of the prison’s administrative building.

Prosecution lawyers said the decision was made because Khaleda Zia has not been produced before the makeshift court at Bakshibazar during the hearings of the case—since her conviction in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case on February 8.

The former prime minister is now serving five years’ imprisonment at the erstwhile Dhaka Old Central Jail on Nazimuddin Road in Old Dhaka.

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed the Zia Charitable Trust case at Tejgaon Police Station in August 2011. Khaleda and three others were accused of abusing power to raise funds from unknown sources for the trust.

The three other accused in the case are: Harris Chowdhury, political secretary of the then prime minister Khaleda between 2001 and 2006; Ziaul Islam Munna, assistant private secretary to Harris; and Monirul Islam Khan, APS to former Dhaka city mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka.