Tuesday, February 19, 2019 | ePaper
Zia Orphanage case Khaleda's bail extended till July 19
The High Court (HC) on Thursday started the hearing on the four appeal petitions in connection with Zia Orphanage Trust case.
Of the four pleas, one was filed by Khaleda Zia seeking acquittal, a revision petition filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) praying enhancement of Khaleda's jail sentence and two others were filed by convicts Qazi Saleemul Huq alias Qazi Kamal and Sharfuddin Ahmed seeking acquittal.
The court, however, extended the tenure of the bail order granted for BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia in the case till July 19.
The HC on March 12 this year granted bail for four months to Khaleda in this case. The Appellate Division on May 16 upheld the HC's bail order, which expired on Thursday.
The HC Bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman started the hearing on the appeal petitions at 11.00 am yesterday.
On the first day of hearing, Khaleda's lawyer Abdur Rezak Khan submitted speeches on FIR from the paper-book, which contains full description of the case.
Among the lawyers panel of Khaleda Zia, Advocate A J Mohammad Ali, Barrister Moudud Ahmed, Advocate Zainul Abedin and Barrister A M Mahbub Uddin Khokan were also present in the court during the hearing.
Advocate Khurshid Alam Khan appeared in the court on behalf of the Anti-Corruption Commission and Deputy Attorney General Farhad Ahmed was for the State.
The court adjourned the hearing till Sunday 2.00 pm.
Meanwhile, Khaleda Zia filed two separate petitions with the Appellate Division of the Supeme Court seeking review of its May 16 order that directed the High Court Bench led by Justice M Enayetur Rahim to conclude hearing on the appeal of Khaleda Zia within July 31.
After hearing, the Appellate Division on the same day asked the High Court Division to start hearing on BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's appeal challenging the lower court verdict that sentenced her to five years' imprisonment in Zia Orphanage Trust case.
The apex court said Khaleda's lawyer can seek time from this court if the High Court cannot finish the hearing on her appeal by July 31.
A four-member Bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain passed the order after hearing two separate petitions filed by Khaleda.
The apex court yesterday kept the review petition of Khaleda Zia standover (pending) till July 31.
On February 8, the Special Judge's Court-5 of Dhaka sentenced Khaleda to five years' rigorous imprisonment in the graft case.
The court also jailed her elder son Tarique Rahman, now the Acting Chairman of BNP, and four others for 10 years and fined them Tk 2.1 crore, saying all the six convicts would have to pay the fine in equal amounts.
The four other convicts are Qazi Saleemul Huq, an ex-BNP MP from Magura; Sharfuddin Ahmed, a businessman; Mominur Rahman, a cousin of Tarique; and Kamal Uddin Siddique, former Principal Secretary.
Of them, Mominur and Kamal are on the run while Salimul and Sharfuddin were sent to jail on February 8. The sentence of the fugitives will be effective from the day of their arrest or surrender.
The ACC filed the case with Ramna police in July 2008, accusing the six of misappropriating over Tk 2.1 crore that came from a foreign bank as grants for orphans.