Court schedules hearing for Khaleda defence remarks against graft charge for Jan 26
Court Correspondent, bdnews24.com
Published: 2017-01-12 12:19:54.0 BdST Updated: 2017-01-12 18:31:20.0 BdST
The court has set a new date for hearing BNP chief Khaleda Zia’s defence statement in a graft case involving Zia Charitable Trust.
Judge Abu Ahmed Jamadar of Dhaka’s Third Special Judges scheduled the hearing on Jan 26.
Khaleda reached the temporary court set up at Bakshi Bazar location around 11am.
The former prime minister started delivering her defense statement in the Zia Charitable Trust case on Dec 1. She pleaded not guilty to the charge of embezzling Tk 31.5 million from the charity.
She then moved the High Court for an order to freeze the graft case. Her plea said the prosecution’s 32 witnesses were not under proper oath and should therefore testify again.
Khaleda’s lawyers on Dec 15 submitted a 225-strong list of witnesses for the defence. But the hearing over her defence statement had to be put off after she was absent on two instances.
On Jan 5 the BNP chairperson received a deferral for the hearing until Jan 12.
The defence again asked for a deferral on Thursday to the objection of ACC lawyer Mosharraf Hossain Kajol.
In the graft case for Zia Orphanage Trust, also being heard at the temporary location in Old Dhaka, the defence cross-examined the case’s first investigation official, then assistant director for Anti-Corruption Commission, Nur Uddin Ahmed.
At a previous hearing, the defence said Ahmed did not make specific charges in the report against their client. It petitioned for a fresh deposition from him on Jan 5.
The petition was granted and Nur Uddin Ahmed on Thursday gave a fresh deposition followed by a cross-examination conducted by defence lawyer Abdur Rezak Khan.
In 2008, the Anti-Corruption Commission filed the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case against six including Khaleda and her son Tarique Rahman.
It alleged that the defendants had embezzled Tk 21 million from funds meant for the trust, which reportedly came from a foreign bank.
In 2011, the anti-corruption watchdog sued the BNP chief and three others for embezzlement of Tk 31.5 million of the Zia Charitable Trust.
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