BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s petition for a fresh probe over the source of funds in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case has been rejected by the Supreme Court.
It accuses the former prime minister and five others, including her son Tarique Rahman of embezzling Tk 21 million from funds meant for the trust, which reportedly came from a foreign bank.
On Sunday, the four-member Appellate Division bench led by the chief justice scrapped the plea. The order also includes some observations.
Khaleda’s counsels argued that that the prosecution alleges the fund came from Saudi Arabia, but according to their documents, it came from Kuwait.
The defence sought a re-investigation on this specific issue.
The trial started in March 2014 after the court of Dhaka’s Third Special Judge indicted the BNP chief, her son and four others.
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.
The court is now hearing Khaleda’s statement defending herself over the charges levelled by the ACC.
On Feb 2, the defence moved the motion for a fresh probe in the trial court, which was denied.
Khaleda’s counsels challenged it in the High Court, but failed to secure a verdict in their favour, which prompted them to move the Appellate Division.
ACC counsel Khrushid Alam Khan said on Sunday that the latest development means that there are no more hurdles for the lawsuit to be continued in the trial court.
“The court, however, has given some observations, which might include instructions over the documents of the source of funds,” he told the media.
Khaleda’s counsel Mahbub Uddin Khokon said, “The trial court has to take the top court’s observation over documents of the source of funds into its cognisance while hearing the case.”