'If I'm produced before the court then Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina should also be produced before the court'
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia on Thursday asked a special court in Dhaka why she was indicted while Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina received acquittal in the Niko graft case, despite the controversial deal having been inked during Awami League’s regime in the 90s.
Khaleda asked the question when she was produced before a makeshift court at the Old Central Jail in the Niko graft case, said Khaleda's lawyer Advocate Sanaullah Miah, reports UNB.
"Sheikh Hasina was an accused in the same case (Niko graft case); she got acquittal, but not me. If I'm produced before the court then Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina should also be produced before the court in the graft case," Sanaullah Miah quoted her as saying.
In response to Khaleda's statement, Judge Mahmudul Kabir of Dhaka Special Judges' Court-9 said Sheikh Hasina has already been acquitted from the graft case by the High Court, so there's no question of producing her before the court in the case.
The court also set November 14 for the next hearing in the case.
Earlier, Khaleda Zia was discharged from Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) Hospital upon approval from the medical board formed for her treatment.
Later, a black SUV carrying Khaleda reached the Old Central Jail on Dhaka's Nazimuddin Road around 11:40am, according to jail sources.
Several police vehicles escorted her to the Old Central Jail from the hospital in the morning.
Following the hearing, she was taken back to the jail, according to authorities.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Law Ministry issued a gazette notification saying that the trial of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and others accused in the Niko corruption case will be held at the makeshift court in the Old Dhaka Central Jail.
In an earlier gazette notification, the ministry cited security reasons for transferring the court. Room No 7 of the Old Central Jail's administrative building will be the venue for the makeshift court.
Police, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), and Ansar members were deployed in and around Nazimuddin Road to maintain law and order.
On October 6, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia was admitted to BSMMU Hospital after prison authorities shifted her there from jail for better treatment.
On October 4, the High Court directed the government to immediately admit Khaleda Zia to BSMMU Hospital and form a five-member apolitical medical board for her treatment.
Khaleda Zia was in the erstwhile Dhaka Central Jail at Nazimuddin Road since she was sentenced to five years' imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case on February 8.