Khaleda's parole appeal not yet received: Asad No secret deal: Quader
Staff ReporterÂ :
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal on Sunday said the government has not yet received any appeal for the release of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia on parole.
He also said that the release issue is a matter of the court.
The Home Minister made the comments after attending a branch opening ceremony of Sydney International School in the city's Gulshan.
Meanwhile, Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader said the Home Minister will decide whether Khaleda's release on parole is logical or not.
"I have discussed the matter with the Home Minister. But I learned, the party has not appealed for her release yet," he told reporters at his ministry office in the afternoon.
He also said that nothing is happening behind the scene over Khaleda Zia's release from jail.
"There's nothing secret," said Quader when asked whether there is any secret understanding between the government and BNP over its chief Khaleda Zia's release on parole.
In a query, if an application is filed for Khaleda Zia's release on parole, the government will consider it.
"Releasing Khaleda Zia is a not a government's matter, rather it's a court's matter. But if BNP or Khaleda's family members apply for her release on parole through the Home Ministry, the government will consider it as per the rules and procedures," he told the media
Quader said there is nothing happening behind the curtain over Khaleda's release.
It is natural that the BNP Secretary General can make a phone call to discuss the matter of Khaleda's release and there is no reason to play hide and seek, he added.
About the recent cabinet reshuffle, the minister said it was aimed at boosting performance and there is no possibility of further change in the cabinet shortly but it might happen later.
Khaleda's lawyer Advocate Zainul Abedin said that they will file a bail petition again this week seeking her release.
Pointing to section 401(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, Khaleda's lawyer said the government can suspend jail term of such convicts under special consideration.
The section says: "When any person has been sentenced to punishment for an offence, the government may at any time without conditions or upon any condition which the person sentenced excepts, suspend the execution of his/her sentence or remit the whole or any part of the punishment to which he/she has been sentenced."
BNP leaders and activists on Saturday demonstrated in front of the party's Nayapaltan central office demanding her release.
Earlier on Friday, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said the government urgently needs to free Khaleda Zia on humanitarian ground instead of engaging in politics over the issue.
Khaleda Zia has been in jail since she was convicted in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case on February 8, 2018. She was found guilty in another corruption case later the same year, although her party claims both cases are politically motivated.