BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia today told a Dhaka court that her party leaders have been kept busy in trials in times of election preparation.
The BNP chief made the comment while she was produced before a makeshift court set up inside the Old Dhaka Central Jail for hearing on charge framing against her and 10 others in Niko graft case.
During today’s hearing, Khaleda, on a wheelchair, told the makeshift court inside old central jail that the case was filed to harass her politically. She also said she was produced before it even though she was too sick.
During the hearing, Barrister Moudud Ahmed said, the setting of the court is inappropriate for the trial as there is no proper sitting arrangement for the lawyers and too much noise pollution is making it difficult to hear the proceedings.
Such kind of surroundings prevailing in the court is a bar of proper justice, adding that this court should be transferred to the previous makeshift court at Alia Madrassa in Bakshibazar where was suitable for justice, Moudud added.
At one stage, the judge told Moudud that he had been seeking an adjournment for dates which kept delaying the trial proceedings.
After hearing both the sides, Judge Md Mahmoodul Kabir of the Special Judge Court-9 of Dhaka adjourned until January 3 of 2019.
On December 9, 2007, the Anti-Corruption Commission filed the Niko graft case with Tejgaon Police Station accusing Khaleda and 10 others of abusing power to award a gas exploration and extraction deal to Canadian company Niko during her tenure as the prime minister.
LAWYERS’ MEETING WITH KHALEDA
After today’s hearing, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and her lawyers held a closed-door meeting at a room next to the courtroom.
Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Zainul Abedin, SCBA General Secretary A M Mahbub Uddin Khokon, Barrister Moudud Ahmed, BNP Vice Chairman and Supreme Court Lawyer Ahmed Aazam Khan sat with Khaleda Zia at 1:20pm and talked for half an hour.
After emerging from the meeting, the lawyers initially refused to talk to the journalists.
Later, Zainul Abedin replied to a query that nothing was discussed related to election. “We talked with her about the numerous cases which have been filed against her,” he said.
CERTIFIED COPY OF ZIA CHARITABLE TRUST CASE
Khaleda’s lawyers today got the certified copies of Zia Charitable Trust graft case in which she was sentenced to seven years’ rigorous imprisonment on October 29.
Advocate Sanaullah Miah received the copies yesterday afternoon from bench assistant Mokarram Hossain of the Special Judge Court-5 of Dhaka.
After getting it, Sanaulla said they would file appeal with the High Court challenging the verdict within a short time.