Saying a BNP delegation did meet Gono Forum President Dr Kamal Hossain and sought legal advice from him regarding party chief Khaleda Zia’s defence in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has brushed off media reports that said the eminent jurist denied their request.
He said: "Khaleda Zia has been sentenced in a politically motivated case. We, along with our lawyers, went to seek legal advice from Dr Kamal. We had a long discussion.
“Dr Kamal asked to know details about the case as he was not in the country during the verdict. Khaleda Zia’s lawyer Rezak Khan has briefed him. We also gave him a copy of the verdict.”
The BNP secretary general was addressing a press briefing at the party’s Naya Paltan headquarters on Wednesday.
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“Dr Kamal has agreed to advise Khaleda’s lawyers after going through the verdict. This is what he also told reporters. But a national daily reported he rejected us. That is just false information,” said Mirza Fakhrul.
He urged the journalists to talk to them before running reports to avoid misunderstandings. "Dr Kamal Hossain did not turn down our request. In fact, he said he did not like Khaleda Zia’s sentencing in such a case."
Fakhrul also said that they had no political discussions with Kamal Hossain.
On issuing a letter to the Election Commission seeking a directive to stop Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s electoral campaign, the BNP leader said their plea was logical as the schedule for the next national election was yet to be announced.
“BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia is in jail. Meanwhile, the prime minister is using government money to hold rallies and seeking votes from people. This is not creating a level playing field for all parties. That is why we have urged the Election Commission to take measures to stop the prime minister’s activities,” Fakhrul said.
“Hopefully, the commission will take steps. If they do not, it will be clear that the commission is just implementing the government’s agendas,” he added.
Talking about the reopening of the cases against Khaleda and other BNP leaders, Fakhrul said: "The government has done that on purpose. They want to keep Khaleda Zia in jail for a long time to keep her away from politics and the next polls.”
“The government is controlling the judiciary... nothing happens without the government’s orders,” the senior BNP leader told reporters.
This article was first published on banglatribune.com