Observing that the date for giving verdict in a graft case of their Chairperson Khaleda Zia has been fixed hastily as part of a government's plot, the BNP’s National Standing Committee on Saturday urged people to be vocal against it.
"The entire nation is worried and aggrieved over the fixing of date to pronounce the verdict hurriedly. We think it is part of a conspiracy to destroy democracy and foil an inclusive national election," said BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
He further said: "Our National Standing Committee at their meeting strongly condemned and protested the government's such unlawful attitude to harass innocent persons, including our leader Khaleda Zia, in false, fabricated and politically motivated cases.
“We urge people to get united and be vocal against the government's plot in the name of trial."
An hour after the BNP policymakers sat in an emergency meeting on Saturday evening, Fakhrul came up with the remarks at a press conference at the BNP chairperson's Gulshan office in Dhaka.
On Thursday, the Special Court-5 in Dhaka fixed February 8 to deliver the verdict in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case against Khaleda and five other people.
The Anti-Corruption Commission filed the case on July 3, 2008 at Ramna police station accusing Khaleda, her eldest son Tarique Rahman, now living in the UK, and four others for misappropriating over Tk2.1 crore that came as grants from a foreign bank for orphans.
Khaleda will be disqualified for the next general election if she is convicted in the case.
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir briefs reporters after a meeting the party's Standing Committee at Chairperson Khaleda Zia's Gulshan office on Saturday, January 27, 2018 | Bangla Tribune
Asked whether their party policymakers worked out any action programme, Mirza Fakhrul said they will unveil it once the verdict is announced.
He said the court concluded the trial proceedings in the case promptly and abruptly set the date for delivering the verdict. "Our senior lawyers think the court's move is not only unusual and unexpected but also mysterious."
The BNP leader said the country's people think the move was taken as part of the government's evil design to keep their party and Khaleda out of the next general election to be held at the end of 2018.
Fakhrul also said it seemed the government and the ruling party knew what will be the verdict the way they were commenting on it and talking about preparation to tackle the situation likely to be emerged after the pronouncement of the judgment.
"It can clearly be understood that another example of opposition suppression is going to be set using the court by staging a farce in the name of trial," he said.
The BNP Standing Committee members sat in the meeting around 9:30pm with Khaleda in the chair. The meeting concluded around 11:45pm.