The date for the verdict on Zia Charitable Trust graft case against BNP chief Khaleda Zia has been set “on the government orders”, the party has alleged.
Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir made the allegation while speaking to the media after a meeting of the newly formed Jatiya Oikya Front in Dhaka on Tuesday.
“The verdict has surely been set on government orders. The government has decided to punish our leader without any trial and justice,” he said.
“It proves that the judiciary in Bangladesh has totally broken down. It is a proof of the government’s control (over the judiciary),” he added.
Fifth Special Judge’s Court of Dhaka set Oct 29 as the verdict date earlier on Tuesday. The Anti-Corruption Commission started the case in 2010, accusing Khaleda and three others of embezzling Tk 31.54 million from the trust.
The trial continued at a makeshift court inside the Old Dhaka jailhouse, where Khaleda had been the lone inmate after her jailing in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case by the same court.
Khaleda skipped court appearances citing her illness, prompting Judge Md Akhtaruzzaman to proceed with the trial in the absence of the key suspect.
Khaleda was transferred to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University on Oct 6 for her treatment following a High Court order.
“Conducting trial and announcing tbe verdict date in her absence is illegal,” Mirza Fakhrul claimed.
He also said the court skipped arguments and Khaleda’s statement in her defence. “We condemn this move,” he added.