Zia Charitable graft case: Khaleda remains absent in court, hearing adjourned
A special court set up at the old Dhaka central jail on Nazimuddin Road today adjourned the hearing of Zia Charitable Trust corruption case after prosecution informed that BNP Chairperson was not willing to appear before the court.
Judge Md Akhteruzzaman of the Special Judge Court-5 adjourned the hearing of the case after the prosecution informed the court about Khaleda Zia’s unwillingness to appear before it.
The judge said the court will hold a hearing tomorrow on whether it should continue its proceedings in absence of Khaleda Zia.
Previously, the proceedings used to take place at a makeshift court in Bakshibazar area but on September 4, the law ministry issued a gazette notification, saying the proceedings in the Zia Charitable Trust case would be held at the old central jail on Nazimuddin Road.
The decision, it said, was made taking Khaleda’s security into consideration.
During the first hearing at the old central jail on September 6, Khaleda was produced before the court where she expressed a lack of confidence in the special court trying the graft case.
The Anti-Corruption Commission filed the Zia Charitable corruption case with Tejgaon Police Station in August 2011, accusing Khaleda and three others of abusing power to raise funds for the trust from unknown sources.
The three other accused are: Harris Chowdhury, political secretary of the then PM Khaleda between 2001 and 2006; Ziaul Islam Munna, assistant private secretary (APS) to Harris; and Monirul Islam Khan, APS of former Dhaka city mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka.
On February 8, the same special court awarded Khaleda five years’ rigorous imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case and sentenced her elder son Tarique Rahman, now acting BNP chairman, and four others to 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment each.
The court also fined them a total of Tk 2.10 crore, saying all the six convicts have to pay the fine in equal amounts.
The ACC filed the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case with Ramna Police Station in July 2008, accusing the six of misappropriating over Tk 2.1 crore that came from a foreign bank as grants for orphans.
Comilla murder case: Hearing on Khaleda’s bail Sept 20
A Comilla court today fixed September 20 for holding a hearing on the bail of BNP chief Khaleda Zia in a murder case filed in the district in 2015.
Senior Judicial Magistrate Biplob Devnath fixed the date for holding the hearing following an application by public prosecutors, reports our Comilla correspondent.
On May 29, the Supreme Court stayed the High Court orders that granted bail to Khaleda Zia in two criminal cases including the arson case.
Chamber Judge of the Appellate Division Justice Hasan Foez Siddique passed the order after two petitions were filed by the government seeking stay on the HC bail orders.
Today, the government lawyers sought more time in the case as they are yet to get the SC stay order, Advocate Kaiyumul Haque Rinku, a lawyer for Khaleda, told journalists at the court premises after the court fixed the new date for hearing.
The case was filed under Special Powers Act after eight people were killed and many injured when a bus was torched in Comilla’s Chouddagram on February 2, 2015.