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Khaleda challenges Zia Orphanage Trust graft case verdict

  • Published at 12:08 pm March 14th, 2019
File photo of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

Khaleda has also sought bail and a stay order on the effectiveness of her punishment

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has filed an appeal with the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court challenging the High Court's verdict in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.

On behalf of Khaleda Zia, her lawyer Kaisar Kamal filed the petition on Thursday morning.

In the petition, former prime minister Khaleda also sought bail and a stay order on the effectiveness of her punishment.

Barrister Kaisar Kamal said: "The lower court sentenced Khaleda Zia to five years in jail in the case, but the High Court passed an order doubling the jail term in the case. 

“So, we filed an appeal petition seeking her bail and stay order on the effectiveness of her punishment."

On January 28, the High Court released the full text of its verdict, doubling the jail term of Khaleda in the graft case to 10 years from five years.

On October 30, 2018, the High Court bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman extended the BNP chief's jail term.

On February 8, 2018, a special court convicted Khaleda and sentenced her to five years' imprisonment in the much-talked-about Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.

Five others accused in the case—including her son and BNP senior vice-chairman Tarique Rahman—were sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment each. The court also fined the five accused Tk2.10 crore each.

Later, on March 12 last year, the BNP chief secured four months' bail from the High Court in the case and moved to the court challenging her conviction. The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) had sought extension of her jail term to life term imprisonment.

The ACC filed the case against Khaleda and others with Ramna police station on July 3, 2008 accusing them of misappropriating Tk2.1 crore in donations meant for a trust setup in her husband's name.

The BNP chief has been in jail since February 8, 2018.