Friday, January 18, 2019

BNP chief Khaleda not formally arrested in any other case, Home Minister Khan says

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2018-02-13 19:55:33 BdST

The government has rubbished media reports on jailed BNP chief Khaleda Zia being formally arrested in other cases.

“She has been convicted in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case and serving a prison term. Other than this, she has not been shown arrested in any other case,” Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan said on Tuesday.

Describing reports of formally arresting the former prime minister in violence cases as fake news, Khan said: “She has not been shown detained in the warrants against her. Wrong information has been circulated.”

A three-time premier, Khaleda, was sentenced to a five-year term on Feb 8, when a Dhaka court found her guilty of misappropriating foreign funds donated to an orphanage.

Khaleda, 72, is now being kept in the old jailhouse on Nazim Uddin Road, which the authorities described as a ‘special prison’.

A bail petition with the High Court is yet to be filed as the lawyers have not received a copy of the trial court’s verdict.

On Monday, several Dhaka-based media outlets reported that Khaleda was formally arrested in three other cases, which prompted harsh criticism from the BNP. The party described it as a plot to lengthen Khaleda’s stay in prison.

Khan described the media reports as baseless.

On Monday, jail authorities said they received court orders to produce Khaleda in hearings of two other graft cases.

“She will attend the hearings, we have nothing to do with that and she has secured bail in those two cases,” the home minister said on Tuesday.

“She will not be formally arrested in any charges, if she appears in court. There’s nothing else. It’s up to the court to decide.”

Rebuffing BNP’s claims of a plot, Khan said: “The government is not at all enthusiastic over the issue. Everything is proceeding according to the law.”