The Special Judge’s Court-3 of Dhaka on Thursday fixed September 17 for the next hearing on the Zia Orphanage Trust and Zia Charitable Trust graft cases filed against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and others.
Judge Abu Ahmed Jomadar passed the order fixing the new date yesterday after defence counsels cross-examined seven witnesses in presence of Begum Khaleda Zia. The BNP Chairperson reached the court, set up on the playground of Government Alia Madrasa in the Bakshibazar area of the capital at about 10:55 am. However, the proceedings of the cases started nearly half an hour before. Later, the judge started hearing the depositions of former DGM of Sonali Bank’s PMO Branch, Md Hafizur Rahman. Khaleda Zia left the court premises at 1:50 pm.
Earlier on September 3, Khaleda Zia was absent from the hearing of the graft cases against and others on the ground of illness. On that day, the court recorded the depositions of three witnesses in her absence and adjourned the hearing in the cases till Sept 10.
On August 8, 2011, the ACC filed the Zia Charitable Trust graft case with Tejgaon Police Station accusing four people, including Khaleda Zia, of abusing official position in raising funds for the trust allegedly from unknown sources. ACC Deputy Director Harunur Rashid and also the Investigation Officer of the case, submitted the charge sheet of the case against the accused on January 16, 2012.
Besides, the docket of Zia Orhanage Trust graft case says that the ACC filed the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case on July 3, 2008 with Ramna Police Station accusing Khaleda Zia, her son Tarique Rahman, now living in the UK after securing bail, and four others for embezzling over Tk 2.10 crore which came as grants from a foreign bank for orphans. On August 5, 2010, Harunur Rashid submitted the charge sheet of the second case to the court against six people, including BNP Chief Begum Khaleda Zia. – Special Correspondent