Monday, October 14, 2019

Khaleda moves to stop her trial at court inside Keraniganj jail

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2019-05-21 21:29:01 BdST

A view of a temporary court set at the Dhaka Central Jail in Keraniganj.

BNP chief Khaleda Zia has asked the government to rescind the move to try her at a temporary court set up in the Dhaka Central Jail in Keraniganj.

BNP Standing Committee Member Moudud Ahmed, who is also a lawyer for Khaleda, says they will move the High Court to halt the government bid to shift trials of the former prime minister in different cases to the Keraniganj jail court.

Khaleda has been in the abandoned jailhouse on Nazimuddin Road in the capital since February last year serving total 17 years in jail after conviction in two corruption cases.

The BNP chairperson is also accused of different charges in a number of other cases.

The trials were under way at a temporary court set inside the old jailhouse.      

The law ministry on May 12 issued a circular on shifting the trials to a makeshift court in Keraniganj jail as Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said the prison for female inmates there was ready for the transfer of Khaleda from Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, where the 73-year-old is undergoing treatment.

Kayser Kamal, a lawyer for Khaleda, sent a legal notice to the government on Tuesday challenging the circular on shifting the trials to the court at Keraniganj jail.

The circular runs contrary to Article 35 of the constitution, which stipulates “public trial”, Kayser cited from the legal notice while speaking to journalists.

“Khaleda Zia and we, the lawyers, think this circular is illegal,” he said.

The lawyer said the government has been given a 24-hour ultimatum to scrap the circular.

The BNP had earlier challenged the court inside the Nazimuddin Road jail, but failed to get an order in its favour.

On Tuesday, Moudud told a programme in Dhaka that they would move the High Court “soon” against the circular that ordered shifting of the trials to Keraniganj.

“We will continue doing this because we don’t have any alternative. We will fight in court and on the streets,” he said.