The court has also stayed a Tk10 lakh fine imposed by the trial court
The High Court has accepted BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's appeal challenging a trial court verdict—that sentenced her to seven years of imprisonment—in the Zia Charitable Trust corruption case.
The High Court bench of Justice Obaidul Hasan and SM Kuddus Zaman delivered the order on Tuesday. The bench also stayed a Tk10 lakh fine imposed by the trial court.
It ordered a status quo on the sub-ordinate court's property crock order to confiscate 4,200,000 katha of land bought in the name of the Zia Charitable Trust, and asked it to send it all case documents related with the case.
Advocate Zainul Abedin—accompanied by other BNP lawyers—represented Khaleda Zia. Attorney General Mahbubey Alam represented the state, while Advocate Khurshid Alam represented the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
On April 23, the High Court set April 30 (Tuesday) as the date for the hearing of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's appeal.
Khaleda filed the appeal petition asking the court to scrap the sub-ordinate court's verdict, stay the fine imposed on her, and grant her bail, on November 18 last year.
A special court in Dhaka on October 29, 2018, found Khaleda guilty in the Zia Charitable Trust graft case—in absentia—and sentenced her to seven years of rigorous imprisonment.
The three-time former prime minister was fined Tk10 lakh, and given a six months’ additional jail term if she fails to pay the sum.
Apart from her, the court sentenced Harris Chowdhury, political secretary to then-Prime Minister Khaleda; his assistant personal secretary, Ziaul Haq Munna; and Monirul Islam Khan, assistant personal secretary to then-Dhaka mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka.
The court also ordered the land bought in the trust’s name be confiscated.
The ACC filed the case against the four at the capital’s Tejgaon police station on August 8, 2011.
The same court on February 8 had also sentenced BNP chief Khaleda to five-year's imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case.
Her son Tarique Rahman and four others—Kamal Uddin Siddique, Kazi Salimul Haque, Sharfuddin Ahmed and Ziaur Rahman’s nephew Mominur Rahman—were sentenced to 10 years in prison in this case, as well.
However, the High Court on October 30 dismissed Khaleda’s appeal in this case and doubled her punishment to 10-years of imprisonment.