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Khaleda appeals to SC, seeks bail in Zia Charitable Trust graft case

  • Published at 11:24 am November 14th, 2019
Khaleda being taken to jail
File photo of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia being taken to the Old Dhaka Central Jail from BSMMU Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Earlier on July 31, a High Court bench rejected the bail petition in the case

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has filed an appeal with the Appellate Division against the High Court order that had rejected her bail plea in the Zia Charitable Trust graft case

Confirming the matter, Khaleda's lawyer and panel member Advocate Sagir Hossain Leon said: “We filed the appeal on Thursday against the High Court order and now we are seeking her bail in the case as well.”

Earlier on July 31, a High Court bench rejected the bail petition in the Zia Charitable Trust corruption case, in which Khaleda had been sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment.

The court also ordered a status quo on the sub-ordinate court's order to confiscate 4,200,000 katha of land bought in the name of the Zia Charitable Trust, and asked it to send the court all of the documents related with the case. 

On April 30, the High Court accepted Khaleda’s appeal petition challenging a trial court verdict.

On November 18, 2018, Khaleda had filed the appeal on 20 grounds, asking the court to scrap the verdict along with fine and grant her bail.

The conviction

On October 29, 2018, a special court in Dhaka 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 also 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 that the land bought in the trust’s name be confiscated.

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed the case against the four with the capital’s Tejgaon police station on August 8, 2011.

The same court on February 8, 2018, had also sentenced BNP chief Khaleda to five-year 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, on October 30, 2018, the High Court dismissed Khaleda’s appeal in the case and doubled her punishment to 10 years of imprisonment.