Khaleda's counsels stage walkout of court protesting interruption

Khaleda’s counsels stage walkout of court protesting interruption


Judge Abu Ahmed Jamadar of Dhaka’s Special Judge Court-3 on Thursday heard the cross-examination of the complainant on Thursday in absence of BNP chief Begum Khaleda Zia. Later, the court set September 3 for the next hearing of the case.
The makeshift court set up at Aliya Madrasa ground of Bakshibazar area in the city is hearing the cases over siphoning off Tk 52.5 million from Zia Orphanage Trust and Zia Charitable Trust. The Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) filed the cases in 2008 and 2011 respectively. In the Zia Charitable Trust case, the anti-corruption watchdog accused the BNP chief and three others for embezzlement of Tk 31.5 million.Last year, following the indictment in the case on Mar 19, Khaleda Zia moved the High Court challenging validity and legality of appointment of the incumbent judge in connection with framing the charges. However, both the pleas were later scrapped by the apex court.
On Thursday, Khaleda’s lawyer Zakir Hossain said a petition was filed to continue the hearing in absence of the former prime minister. The hearing began with cross-examination of complainant and ACC Deputy Director Harun-Ur-Rashid.
Another accused Monirul Islam’s lawyer TM Akbar also cross-examined Rashid. Police Sub-Inspector Mahfuzul Haque, who recorded the case, testified later. Accused Ziaul Islam Muna’s lawyer Aminul Islam also interrogated him.
Later, senior official of Sonali Bank, Insan Uddin Ahmed and the bank’s cash department official Shajahan Khan, witnesses of the state, also testified. The defence counsels, including Khaleda’s lawyer Barrister Mahbub Uddin Khokon, left the court at one stage of the hearing in protest against the interruption of ACC prosecutor Mosharraf Hossain Kajal during the testimony of Sonali Bank’s official Insan Uddin Ahmed. They alleged, Kajal tried to give an instruction during the recording of the deposition of Ahmed’s statement.
The judge, however, termed as ‘unprecedented’ the walkout by the defence lawyers. However, they returned during the testifying of Khan’s account. – Special Correspondent


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