Khaleda jailed for corruption in Zia Orphanage Trust - As it happened

Former prime minister and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia gets five years in jail as court convicts her in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.

News DeskFrom English
Published : 8 Feb 2018, 03:22 AM
Updated : 8 Feb 2018, 08:02 PM

The live coverage of the verdict on Zia Orphanage Trust graft trial has ended. Here's the full report.

* Khaleda Zia’s presumed political heir and son Tarique Rahman will be leading the BNP while its chairperson is in jail for corruption, the party says. Senior Vice-Chairman Tarique, who has also been convicted on same charges, has been living in exile in London since he went there for treatment after being released on bail during the 2007-08 caretaker government.  

* IGP Jabed Patwary says no one will be allowed to unleash violence during protests. He also asks police not to harass innocent people.

* Khaleda is the lone inmate at a 'special jail' on the ground floor of the three-storey building which had housed the day care centre and beauty parlour training centre of the old jail, prison officials say. Five female officials are tasked with taking care of the BNP chief.

* Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal says she will get all facilities she deserves as per the jail code. They considered her social status and age in deciding to keep her in 'special jail', the minister says.   

* Former law minister and BNP leader Moudud Ahmed told a press briefing the appeal to overturn the verdict will likely be filed on Sunday.

* “Where’s she now?” says Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina referring to her archrival Khaleda Zia who has just landed in jail to serve a five-year term in a corruption case. Hasina says Khaleda is being punished for torturing people.

* Former prime minister Khaleda Zia is the second head of government to land in jail on corruption charges, after military dictator HM Ershad, in the history of Bangladesh.

* Supreme Court Bar Association President Zainul Abedin, another lawyer for Khaleda, says her counsels will seek bail from the High Court for her and a stay order on the trial court verdict. If the verdict is stayed, Khaleda will be able to run in the next election, Abedin says.

*BNP says police detain Khaleda’s aide Shimul Biswas in Old Dhaka.

* BNP announces a plan to hold protests on Friday against the conviction of Chairperson Khaleda Zia in a graft case.

* Traffic grinds to a halt and shops shut on Nazimuddin Road as security forces take former prime minister Khaleda Zia to jail after a court verdict

* "The verdict on Khaleda Zia shows nobody is above the law and it has been proved again," says the law minister.

* Law Minister Anisul Huq says Khaleda can challenge the verdict in High Court after getting a certified copy of the verdict. She can also seek bail then, he says.

*Describing the verdict “designed to keep Khaleda out of the polls”, her chief counsel Khandker Mahbub Hossain says they will move the higher court. “We hope we will get justice there.”

* Security forces
take Khaleda Zia to the old premises of Dhaka Central Jail
on Nazimuddin Road, minutes after the verdict.

* Court finds former PM Khaleda guilty and sentences her to 5 years in jail. Her son Tarique Rahman and four others get 10 years.

*Khaleda Zia, clad in her signature off-white chiffon sari, sits on a chair next to the judge’s desk, with the verdict in a corruption case looming over the former prime minister.

* Judge Akhtaruzzaman starts reading verdict at 2.15pm. The verdict contains 632 pages. 

* Police tear-gassed BNP activists to break up protests on Nazimuddin Road in Old Dhaka. Witnesses say at least two supporters have been led away by police.

* Clashes continued between supporters and police on Nazimuddin Road even after Khaleda Zia entered the court premises.

* Khaleda reaches court amid clashes between supporters and police in Dhaka.

* Senior BNP leaders Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain and Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury arrive at the Bakshibazar crossing in Old Dhaka ahead of a verdict in a corruption case against their party chief Khaleda Zia.
* Officers of police’s Detective Branch are seen in front of the BNP office in Naya Paltan, with some senior leaders including Ruhul Kabir Rizvi staying inside. Police create a security ring around the building. RAB officers are on stand-by.

* TV footage shows at least two motorbikes on fire as violence breaks out;

* Clashes break out between police and BNP activists as Khaleda's motorcade reaches Kakrail; Police lob tear gas shells as BNP supporters hurl brickbats.

Parts of capital Dhaka stall as thousands of BNP activists descend on the streets to accompany Khaleda Zia’s motorcade.

* Senior BNP leaders are on their way to join thousands of activists on a key Dhaka road as party chief Khaleda heads to court in a politically sensitive corruption case.

* Khaleda’s motorcade weaves through a flow of supporters on a key Dhaka road.

* Leaders and activists defy police action and stick to the moving car carrying their leader. Slogans are heard.

* Clashes break out between police and lawyers on Supreme Court premises.

* Special aide Shamsur Rahman Shimul Biswas accompanies the BNP chief. Khaleda’s motorcade has five cars packed with members of her personal security force. Law-enforcement officials in 13 separate cars are providing security.

* Khaleda’s car slows on her way to court as her supporters gather on a key road and chant slogans.

* Hundreds of activists pour in on Dhaka road as Khaleda Zia heads to court; slogans supporting the former prime minister are heard.  

* TV footage shows BNP activists and supporters gather around Khaleda’s car on her way to court in Old Dhaka. The vehicle comes to a halt.

*The BNP chief leaves her Gulshan home one and a half hours behind schedule for court appearance.

*TV footage shows her in a white car as she heads to court.

Former prime minister Khaleda Zia
heads to court in Old Dhaka. The road to court looks empty as police tighten security. 

*Judge Md Akhtaruzzaman who presided over the trial of former prime minister Khaleda Zia arrives in court and stays in his chamber.

*DMP Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia warns pro-BNP lawyers of action as they try to enter the court premises, reports Staff Correspondent Md Tabarul Huq.

*Police bar Khaleda Zia’s counsel Ahmed Azam Khan from entering the courtroom and he says his client may be denied justice. “I have been her lawyer for the past 30 years. My constitutional right is now breached,” he says.

*Leaders and activists of Jubo Dal, the youth wing of BNP, gather outside the court in Old Dhaka riding motorbikes, reports Chief Crime Correspondent Liton Haider. Police banned all kinds of rallies and processions.

*Arson reported from Sherpur: A truck, laden with stones, has been torched by arsonists in the district's Sreebardi Upazila early Thursday, says Police Inspector Rezaul Hoque. 

*Secondary School Certificate or SSC exams have started on time at 10am, says Dhaka Board Exam Controller Tapan Kumar Sarker.

*Khaleda Zia’s security force will be allowed to enter the court premises but they will not be allowed to carry guns, says DMP Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia.

*RAB Director General Benazir Ahmed visits the court premises and urges Dhaka residents not to be misled by “smear campaigns” on the social media.

*Authorities reduce the number of seats in courtroom by half as part of a security measure as a verdict in a corruption case against former prime minister Khaleda Zia is just hours away.

*Two suspects, former Magura MP Quazi Salimul Haq Kamal and businessman Sharfuddin Ahmed, arrive in court.

*Khaleda Zia’s lawyers Abdur Rezak Khan and Masud Ahmed Talukder are present in court. ACC counsel Mosharraf Hossain is yet to arrive.

*The Special Judge’s Court set up in Bakshibazar for the trial of former prime minister Khaleda Zia goes under security blanket.

*Authorities note down names, designations and phone numbers of journalists and lawyers before letting them enter the courtroom in Old Dhaka.

*Khaleda’s lawyer and BNP Joint Secretary General Mahbub Uddin Khokon enters her house. The former prime minister is due to start for court in Old Dhaka at 10:30am.

*Law enforcers bar media vehicles from passing through Gulshan circle 2. Mobile phone networks go down around Khaleda’s home, reports Chief Political Correspondent Suman Mahmud.

*Police beef up security around Khaleda Zia’s home in Gulshan as she prepares for court in Old Dhaka. 

*Khaleda Zia will leave her Gulshan home to head for the court in Old Dhaka at 10am. 

*DMP Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia holds a morning media briefing and asks everybody to obey the law as a court verdict on Khaleda Zia looms.

*Police tighten security in Dhaka ahead of a court verdict in a corruption case against former prime minister Khaleda Zia.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher