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Dhaka Tribune

Court accepts Khaleda’s time petition

Update : 16 Feb 2014, 06:49 PM

A Dhaka Court yesterday granted a time petition to BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia in connection with Zia Orphanage and Zia Charitable Trust graft cases, for the last time.

The court also deferred the hearing on charge framing till March 19 in two cases.

Khaleda last appeared before the court on January 15, 2013, and secured a permanent bail in the graft cases.

However, Judge Md. Rezaul Islam of the Special Judge Court-3 passed the order after her counsel Md Sanaullah Miah filed a petition for time before the court.

In the petition, the defense said the BNP chairperson could not appear before the court due to cold-related illness.

Opposing the petition, Anti-Corruption Commission’s counsel Mosharref Hossain Kajal told the court that the charge-framing hearing in the two cases has been deferred for 52 times in the last two years.

He also noted that Khaleda has taken time extentions in the last two years by showing various pretexts, which was completely illegal. He urged the court to enforce an arrest warrant against Khaleda Zia.

With this deferment, the court has adjourned for 41 times, in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case and 11 time for the Zia Charitable Trust graft case for hearing on charge framing.

After hearing from both the prosecution and defense, the judge fixed the new date and asked Khaleda Zia to appear during the hearing.

Zia Charitable Trust graft case

On August 8, 2011, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed the case with Tejgaon police station accusing the four, including Khaleda, of abusing power in raising funds for the trust from unknown sources.

ACC Deputy Director Harun-ur Rashid, the investigation officer of the case, pressed charges against the accused on January 16, 2012.

The other accused are Khaleda Zia’s former Political Secretary Harris Chowdhury; his former Assistant Personal Secretary Ziaul Islam Munna and Manirul Islam Khan, former personal secretary of BNP leader Sadeque Hossain Khoka.

Of them, Harris Chowdhury has been staying abroad since 2007. He was mentioned as an “absconding accused” in the charge sheet, while Ziaul and Monirul are now on bail.

Zia Orphanage Trust graft case

The ACC filed the case with the Ramna police station on July 3, 2008, accusing Khaleda Zia, her son Tarique Rahman and four others of misappropriating over Tk2.10 crore, which came as “grants” from a foreign bank.

The other accused are Mominur Rahman, nephew of late president Ziaur Rahman; Khaleda’s former Principal Secretary Dr Kamaluddin Siddique; and former BNP lawmakers Kazi Salimul Haque and Sharfuddin Ahmed.

ACC deputy director Harunur Rashid submitted a charge sheet on the case on August 5, 2010. L

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