Alexa Graft: BNP chief Khaleda to argue again in court Thursday

Dhaka, Friday   23 August 2019

Akash

Graft: BNP chief Khaleda to argue again in court Thursday

 Staff Correspondent Daily-Bangladesh

 Published: 08:53 PM, 20 December 2017   Updated: 09:27 PM, 3 January 2018

Daily Bangladesh Desk

Daily Bangladesh Desk

A Dhaka court has adjourned its hearing on arguments from BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia in a graft case against her involving the Zia Orphanage Trust.

Judge Md Akhteruzzaman of Dhaka’s Fifth Special Court will again hear arguments by the former prime minister on Thursday.

Lawyer Abdur Rezak Khan argued on behalf of Khaleda at the hearing that started at 11:15am Wednesday. Khaleda left the special court soon after the hearing was adjourned at 1:45pm.

Three advocates—Khandaker Mahbub Hossain, AJ Mohammad Ali and Barrister Jamiruddin Sircar —will again argue for the BNP chief on Thursday.

The final verdict will follow once the court finishes hearing arguments of both parties in the nine-year-old case.

The Anti-Corruption Commission or ACC started the case in 2008 accusing Khaleda and five others of embezzling Tk 21 million from foreign aid collected for the Zia Orphanage Trust.

The court started the trial in 2014, around five years after the investigator submitted the charges.

ACC’s lawyer Mosharrof Hossain Kajal argued for the state on Tuesday.

“Instead of using the foreign aid for the welfare of orphans, the accused transferred and transformed them. They kept accumulating the money abroad over years,” he said.

The defence had been unable to refute the testimonies of 32 witnesses, he claimed.

The BNP chairperson has so far defended herself seven times in the case.

Of the other defendants, former MP Kazi Salimul Haque Kamal and businessman Sharfuddin Ahmed are out on bail while on Jan 26 this year, a warrant was issued for Tarique, who has been in the UK for the last nine years and has warrants on him in several others cases.

The two others accused in the case --- former principal secretary to the PM Kamal Uddin Siddique and one Maminur Rahman, nephew of BNP founder Ziaur Rahman, are absconding.