'The constitution says the trial must be held in public and in an open court. But they’re holding the trial in a small room (inside the jail) where there’s a sitting arrangement for only 10 lawyers. It’s not an open court'
BNP on Friday trashed the Prime Minister’s remark that Khaleda Zia’s trial is being held in an open court inside Old Dhaka central jail, claiming that her assertion is incorrect.
“The constitution says the trial must be held in public and in an open court. But they’re holding the trial in a small room (inside the jail) where there’s a sitting arrangement for only 10 lawyers. It’s not an open court,” said BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir during a press conference at BNP’s Naya Paltan central office.
While addressing a meeting of Awami League Central Working Committee on Thursday, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said Khaleda’s trial is being held in an open court where people have free access.
“How could it be a camera trial when the door of the court remains open?” she said.
She also said the makeshift court was set up in the central jail to try BNP chief Khaleda Zia as BNP leaders were talking about her security.
“The trial of Colonel Taher was held in a court in jail during the Ziaur Rahman’s regime.”
Refuting the Prime Minister’s comment, Fakhrul said Col Taher’s trial was held during martial law not under a civil administration. “So, it can’t be compared with that trial.”
About Sheikh Hasina’s comment that the constitution or the existing laws do not permit convicted Khaleda to take her domestic help Fatema with her in the jail, the BNP leader said Fatema has been staying in jail with the court’s order. “We didn’t keep her in jail.”
He questioned as to why the government is keeping Khaleda in jail with various tricks even after she was granted bail by the apex court in the case she was convicted.
“Why do you fear her? Free her from jail and hold a fair election. You don’t want to do it as you know people are not with you.”
Speaking at the press conference, partys Standing Committee member Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said jail is not an open place and people have no access to it. “The so-called court was set up inside the jail. How can it be an open court where people don’t have any access? The prime minister made such wrong remarks to confuse people.”
Mosharraf said the makeshift court was set up in the jail as part of the government’s plot to keep Khaleda Zia out of the next general election race.