Thursday, November 23, 2017

Khaleda Zia gets permanent bail in Orphanage Trusts graft charges

  • Staff Correspondent,
    Published: 2017-08-09 13:30:15 BdST


The High Court has granted BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia permanent bail in the corruption case over the Zia Orphanage Trust.

The Zia Orphanage Trust graft case was filed in 2008. The ACC case accused Khaleda, her son Tarique Rahman and four others of embezzling Tk 21 million.

On Wednesday, the court gave the order after disposing of a rule it issued nine years ago.

Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Shahidul Karim passed the order.
Khaleda, who served as the prime minister from 2001-2006, is currently on bail secured from a lower court. AJ Md Ali and Zakir Hossain Bhuiyan represented Khaleda during Wednesday’s hearing.
ACC’s lawyer Khurshid Alam Khan said the court may cancel the bail if it finds Khaleda misusing it.
“The High Court has disposed of the rule issued in 2008. This time, the ACC has participated in the hearing,” he told reporters.
The ACC started the case in 2008 accusing the six of embezzling Tk 21 million that arrived as donation for the Zia Orphanage Trust. Khaleda was shown arrested in the case during the tenure of army-backed caretaker government.
A High Court bench granted temporary bail to the BNP chairperson on Aug 26, 2008 and also issued a rule asking why she should not be granted permanent bail.
The government moved the Appellate Division against the order but failed to secure a verdict in its favour. Khaleda was released on Sept 11, 2008 and later secured bail from the lower court.
The ACC submitted chargesheet in the case in 2009. Dhaka’s Third Special Judge Basudeb Roy pressed the charges in 2014 and indicted Khaleda and five other accused.
Dhaka’s fifth special judge’s court is currently hearing Khaleda’s statement defending herself.
The ACC has pleaded for the cancellation of Khaleda’s bail criticising her stay in London in the middle of the trial. The High Court is yet to hear the matter.
On the other hand, Khaleda has cited her lack of confidence in the presiding judge for the fourth time in the case and pleaded for a new judge. Her plea is pending with the top court.