Dhaka – BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s lawyer Advocate Mahbub Hossain yesterday questioned the justification to implicate the former premier in Zia orphanage Trust graft case.“The late foreign minister, Mustafizur Rahman had collected the money from Kuwait and it was deposited with the Zia Memorial Trust. But no case was filed in connection with the Zia Memorial Trust… Why is this double standard on the same issue?” he asked in his arguments placed before the Special Judges Court at Bakshibazar in Old Dhaka for the second day.
He claimed that the investigation officer, Haroonur Rashid, submitted the charge-sheet the way he was directed to do it for implicating Khaleda Zia.
The court comprising Special Judge DR Akhteruzzaman fixed January 3 and 4 for placing next arguments in favour of the BNP chief.
Defending Khaleda Zia in the Zia Orphanage trust graft case, Mahbub Hossain categorically said that there are no such evidences and proofs of embezzlement of money from the trust.
“One would smell politics in the process of filing the case and this is a politically motivated case,” he claimed.
He termed the case fabricated with documents without any signature, he said the documents were visibly manipulated.
“Evidences and proofs showed no money was embezzled. Khaleda Zia did not open any bank account. Why will she be punished?” he questioned.
The lawyer also raised a question as to why the case was filed against what he said the most popular leader of the country, Khaleda Zia, 17 years later.
He said there are still many judges who are carrying out justice on the basis of evidences and proofs, defying threats from influential quarters.
Mahbub Hossain however hoped that the court would do justice to Khaleda Zia taking evidences and proofs into their account.
Earlier, the BNP chief appeared before a Dhaka court in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case at about 11:36am.
On Wednesday, the same court had fixed today for hearing the argument in the case for the third day.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed the case in 2008 against six people, including Khaleda and her eldest son Tarique Rahman, for allegedly misusing Tk2.1 crore from the funds of the Zia Orphanage Trust.
In addition, in 2011, the ACC accused the BNP chief and three others of misappropriating Tk3.15 crore from the Zia Charitable Trust Fund. – Staff Reporter
Our Special Correspondent adds: The Special Court-5 of Dhaka on Thursday fixed January 3 and 4 for the defence to place further arguments in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case lodged against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.
Judge Dr Md Akhtaruzzaman of the makeshift special court set up at Bakshibazar of the city adjourned the hearing on argument for the fifth day and ordered to place the remaining arguments on January 3 and 4. The hearing of arguments in the Zia Charitable Trust graft is also scheduled to be held on the same date.
On Thursday Khaleda Zia’s counsel Khandakar Mahbub Hossain and AJ Mohammad Ali placed the arguments when they said that the case is politically-motivated and it was filed to harass her. The case was filed against Khaleda Zia showing fake documents out of political vengeance they added. AJ Mohammad Ali termed Begum Khaleda Zia as the pole star (Drubatara). He further said that Khaleda was made Prime Minister thrice as she is a popular leader and she got a place in the hearts of the people of the country.
Earlier on December 21, the court fixed December 26, 27 and 28 for placing the defence arguments in the graft case.
Khaleda arrived at the court at about 11.30 am while the proceeding of the court begun at 11.37 am. The hearing on arguments ended at 2.55 pm, when AJ Mohammad Ali concluded his submission. Later, BNP Chief Khaleda Zia left the court at about 3 pm.