Khaleda: I am doubtful about getting justice in graft case

Khaleda: I am doubtful about getting justice in graft case
Khaleda Zia surrounded by several BNP leaders at a press briefing at her Gulshan office on February 7, 2018 Dhaka Tribune

The BNP chief also urges party members to carry out ‘peaceful movement’.

Expressing doubts over getting justice in ​the​ graft case, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia on Wednesday said she was ready to face any ​outcome​.

The beleaguered BNP chief, however, claimed that she would be acquitted if justice is done to her in the case, and urged people to carry out a peaceful movement,​ in a democratic manner​,​ to force the government to hold a fair and credible election, even if she is in jail.

“The ruling party leaders have long been saying that I would have to face jail, as if the ruling party, not the judge, fixed the verdict… I doubt whether any court will dare ​to ​ensure justice against the regime’s will,” Khaleda said while addressing a press conference at the party chairperson’s Gulshan office, on the eve of the verdict in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.

A special court in Dhaka’s Bakshibazar area is set to deliver verdict today in the graft case filed against Khaleda and five others.

“I am ready to face any consequenc​e​. It is useless to threaten me with jail or conviction. I won’t bow down and budge from the struggle​to establish people’s rights and democracy.”

On July 3, 2008, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed the case with Ramna police station accusing Khaleda, her son Tarique Rahman, and four others​,​ for misappropriating over Tk2.10 crore that came as grants from a foreign bank for orphans.

Khaleda said nothing w​ould​ happen to her if justice ​wa​s ensured in the “false” case.

“If an unfair verdict is delivered to appease the government, it will remain ​a stigma​ in the country’s history. I want to proudly tell my countrymen that your Khaleda Zia didn’t do anything unfair. I didn’t indulge in any corruption.”

The BNP chief claimed that the government wanted to keep her away from politics, election​s​ and people​,​ using the court.

“But I think their desire​ to​ restor​e ​one-party rule and score ​goals ​in an empty field ​will remain​ ​un​fulfilled.”

She also urged all to remain alert as many traps may be set up ​and ​many and plots may be hatched in the days to come. “Think twice before taking any step. This country belongs to all of us, not to any person or party. We want peace, not any violence and anarchy. We want a fair election. We still hope good sense will prevail upon the Awami League leadership.”

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Khaleda also urged the government to arrange a fair and peaceful election through talks​,​ shunning the path of threats, intimidation and repressive act​ions​.

Accusing the government of turning the entire country into a “jail,” she urged her archrival Sheikh Hasina to ​take steps​ to make the country peaceful.

The BNP chief also slammed the government for what she ​described as​ ​‘​a reign of terror across the country​‘​ ahead of the verdict in her graft case.

“The government has given an administrative order to stop people’s rights of movement, and their constitutional rights to hold any rally and register protest​,​ as ​they have gotten​ more scared than us ahead of the verdict.”

Meanwhile, BNP senior leaders said Khaleda Zia at recently held committee meetings instructed party members to remain active on the streets.

Khaleda said: “We don’t want any violent or chaotic situation; we want a peaceful, fair election.”

She also asked every member of the party to actively participate in the movement peacefully and asked everybody to act wisely under the circumstances.

Juba Dal central committee Organising Secretary Masum Hasan said in the executive committee meeting​,​ BNP members were strictly directed to be active on the streets regardless of the situation.

Source: Dhaka Tribune.


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