The government has decided to change the court premises to hold the trial of Khaleda Zia in the ‘Zia Charitable Trust’ and ‘Zia Orphanage Trust’ corruption cases, citing security concerns.
Dhaka’s Third Metropolitan Sessions Judge will hear the cases in a courtroom which will be set up at the Alia Madrasa ground in Dhaka’s Bokshi Bazar, instead of the one at Old Dhaka.
The government had earlier decided to hold trials of the murders during the 2009 BDR mutiny at that madrasa ground as the number of accused was huge.
The law ministry, in a press release on Wednesday, said the court building and premise of the Dhaka’s Metropolitan Sessions Judge’s Court is always crowded.
It said the government, for security reasons, was announcing that court (at Alia Madrasa ground) would be a temporary one to hold the hearings of Khaleda’s cases.
Senior law ministry official Md Mizanur Rahman told bdnews24.com the court’s judge would not be changed.
The order in this regard was issued on Apr 30, he said.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), which lodged the cases against Khaleda, had sought a relocation of the courtroom.
The charges against the BNP chief were framed on Mar 19.
Her lawyers had tried to hamper proceedings, prompting the judge, Basudev Roy, to twice leave the courtroom and, finally, give the order from his chamber.
The BNP has been claiming that the cases are ‘politically motivated’. Khaleda had also moved High Court, appealing for the scrapping of the indictment order in the graft cases, but her petition was rejected.
On July 3, 2008, the ACC filed the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case against six people, including Khaleda and her elder son Tarique Rahman.
It alleged that the defendants misappropriated over Tk 21 million from funds meant for the trust given by a foreign bank.
Charge sheet in the case was submitted in August 2010.
On Aug 8, 2011, the anti-graft watchdog sued the former prime minister and three others for siphoning off Tk 31.5 million of the Zia Charitable Trust.
It filed the charge sheet against the four in January 2012.
Source: BD news24