Charges framed against Khaleda

Charges have been framed against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia in two alleged cases of corruption.

Published : 19 March 2014, 08:26 AM
Updated : 19 March 2014, 11:25 AM

The court has set April 21 for hearing of the cases, her lawyer Mahbub Uddin Khokon told on Wednesday.

The BNP chief appeared before the court in Old Dhaka at 1pm to attend hearing of the Zia Orphanage Trust and Zia Charitable Trust graft cases.

Dhaka’s Special Judge-3 Basudev Roy left the courtroom twice due to furious protests by Khaleda’s lawyers following a rejection of their plea seeking more time.

Her lawyers went to the Judge’s chamber with a plea to reconsider the order after he left the heated courtroom at around 1:30pm. They also sought permission to move the High Court against the order.

The judge returned to the courtroom at 3pm where Khaleda was waiting.

The lawyers for the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), which is prosecuting Khaleda, pleaded for framing charges and the defence began protesting vehemently.

They raised hell in the courtroom when the judge rejected their plea seeking more time and wanted to initiate hearing to frame charges, said correspondent, Prokash Biswas.

The judge again left the courtroom when the defence lawyers began arguing with pro-Awami League lawyers present in the court room, said Biswas.

The judge gave the order to frame charges against the BNP chief, her lawyer Khokon told at around 4:00pm.

Security was tightened in and around the court premises since Wednesday morning.

Khaleda last appeared in court on Jan 15 last year when the ACC submitted chargesheet in one of the cases against hear.

The former leader of the opposition sought time on 41 occasions in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case and 11 times in the Zia Charitable Trust graft case.

On Feb 16, the court issued an ultimatum to Khaleda, ordering her to appear before it on Mar 19 or face arrest.

In 2008, ACC filed the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case against six including Khaleda and her son Tarique Rahman.

It alleged that the defendants pocketed Tk 21 million from funds meant for the trust, which reportedly came from a foreign bank.

Chargesheet against the six was submitted in 2010.

In 2011, the anti-corruption watchdog sued the BNP chief and three others for pocketing Tk 31.5 million of the Zia Charity Trust.

It filed the chargesheet against the four in 2012.