BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday ducked appearing before a Dhaka court in a corruption case for the 10th time citing security concerns.
The BNP-led 18-party alliance enforced a countrywide dawn-to-dusk hartal yesterday to protest the latest fuel price hike.
Khaleda's counsel Mahbub Uddin Khokon submitted a petition in the Zia Charitable Trust corruption case and sought adjournment of the hearing, saying Khaleda could not appear before it due to security concerns during the hartal.
At one stage, the judge asked Khokon whether Khaleda was aware of yesterday's hearing, and if she knew about it, then why did she call hartal?
In reply, Khokon said she considered the interest of the country and the nation was much greater than hers. And that is way she called the hartal.
The court asked Khaleda for the 11th time to appear before it on January 15 in connection with the corruption case.
It will also pass an order the same day on whether it will take into cognisance the charges brought against Khaleda and three others.
The court also extended to January 15 the bail to two other accused in the case — Ziaul Islam Munna, assistant private secretary of BNP leader Harris Chowdhury; and Monirul Islam Khan, APS of former Dhaka city mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka.
On January 1, the court asked Khaleda to appear before it yesterday.
Khaleda skipped the hearings on March 18, April 29, May 31, July 1, August 5, August 28, October 1 and November 27 last year and January 1 this year.
She last appeared in the court on February 2, 2012 only to secure permanent bail in the case.
Source: The Daily Star