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SC order on Khaleda's bail now today

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Staff Reporter :
The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court has deferred till today (Wednesday) morning to deliver its verdict on the appeals against the High Court order that granted bail to BNP Chief Khaleda Zia in Zia Orphanage Trust case.
A four-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain rescheduled its verdict on Tuesday following further submission for about one hour made by Attorney General (AG) Mahbubey Alam against her bail.
The bench of the Appellate Division sat around 9:50 am for delivering judgment as per its previous schedule. But, the Attorney General stood and told the court that he wants to place some more arguments.
The AG said he could not complete placing arguments on May 9 as the court witnessed commotion from some lawyers on that day. After an interval, the court resumed the hearing at 12:05 pm. After AG's submission, Khaleda Zia's lawyer Zainul Abedin also placed some arguments.
After their submissions, the bench re-fixed the date for the verdict.
Mahbubey Alam said, "Khaleda Zia's case and other cases are not the same. Khaleda Zia's case should not be compared with other cases. This case was filed for the embezzlement of the government fund. A sum of money came to the Prime Minister's orphan fund. That money was embezzled by transferring to another orphan fund. Khaleda Zia gave the permission to transfer that money."
In his submission, the AG also read some decisions of the SC on bail of some leaders of Awami League and BNP. He said, "Physical condition of those leaders was seriously deteriorated. They also submitted medical documents in the court. Everyone served in jail for a long time. Their lives were in risk. But medical board did not say that Khaleda Zia's physical condition is so bad. Only the BNP men claimed this which was published in the newspapers."
"The trial of this case took nine years to end. So, appeal should be disposed of in the High Court on priority basis," he added.
After the AG's submission, Khaleda Zia's lawyer Zainul Abedin said, the cases were filed in the time of an emergency government of which decisions the Attorney General read. There is not a single example in which case was interfered by the Appellate Division after the High Court had granted bail to anyone. But we have seen that the ACC did not appeal after the HC bail. Yet the government and the ACC appealed together in Khaleda Zia's case."
On May 9, a four-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain fixed May 15 to pass order on Khaleda Zia's bail after completing hearing on two appeal petitions filed by the ACC and the government against the High Court order that granted bail to her in the case.
The High Court on March 12 granted her four months' bail in Zia Orphanage Trust case in which she was sentenced to five years in prison.
On March 19, the SC stayed the HC bail till May 8 following two leave-to-appeal petitions filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission and the government.
The Appellate Division heard the leave-to-appeal petitions on May 8 and 9 and fixed May 15 for passing order, which was deferred to May 16.
Khaleda Zia landed in jail on February 8 after the special judge's court-5 of Dhaka sentenced her to imprisonment as the court found her and five others guilty in the case.
The court also sentenced Khaleda's elder son Tarique Rahman, now the Acting Chairman of BNP, and four others to 10 years' rigorous imprisonment each, and fined them a total of Tk 2.10 crore, saying that all the six convicts have to pay the fine in equal amounts.
The ACC had filed the case with Ramna Police Station in July 2008, accusing the six of misappropriating over Tk 2.1 crore that came from a foreign bank as grants for orphans.

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