GreenWatch News Desk
Dhaka, Feb 8 – BNP Chairperson and Bangladesh’s PM for three terms Begum Khaleda Zia has been sentenced to 5 years in prison in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case. Four others accused in the case have been awarded ten years of rigorous imprisonment each, according to instant message vedieoed through the Facebook.
Judge of Special Judge’s Court – 5 pronounced the verdict at about 2-35p. According to information relayed from the spot the judge readout the operative mpart of a 632-page judgement.
Khaleda’s lawyers chanted slogans against the judgement in the case which they pleaded was concocted. She was the chairman of the trust, they said, was a ceremonmial. They claimed there was no graft, and that the prosecution failed to prove the case.
The prosecution on the other hand said that the case had been proved and demanded seven years’ imprisonment for the ex-Prime Minister of Bangladesh.
UNB news agency adds: Law enforcers had earlier taken unprecedented security measures in Bakshibazar and its surrounding areas in Old Dhaka on Thursday as a makeshift court here is set to deliver verdict in a graft case against BNP Chief Khaleda Zia.
Huge police and Rab members have been deployed in the area. They have set up check-posts at different points and are searching vehicles and suspected people to prevent ‘unwarranted’ people from entering the area.
While talking to reporters after visiting the area, DMP Commissioner Asaduzaman Miah said,” We’re trying to ensure people’s security. No one is above the law.”
Law enforcers have installed a mobile network jamming device at Bakshibazar court premises.
No one, except lawyers and journalists, is allowed to enter Bakshibazar makeshift court area.
Police have cordoned off a number of BNP lawyers near the court.
While entering the court area, BNP standing committee member Barrister Moudud Ahmed said,” Now the whole country is cordoned off. No complaint against Khaleda Zia could be proved. She’ll be relieved if she gets justice.”
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia started heading towards Bakshibazar special court which is set to deliver its verdict in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case against her and five others Thursday.
The BNP chief left her Gulshan residence for the court around 11:45am amid tight security.
The Anti-Corruption Commission filed the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case on July 3, 2008 with Ramna Police Station accusing Khaleda, her eldest son Tarique Rahman, now living in the UK, and four others of misappropriating over 2.10 crore that came as grants from a foreign bank for orphans.
Four other accused are former BNP MP Salimul Haq Kamal and businessman Sharfuddin Ahmed, former principal secretary Kamal Uddin Siddique and Mominur Rahman, nephew of late President Ziaur Rahman.
Kamal Uddin Siddique and Mominur Rahman have long been absconding. – UNB