Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Thursday slammed BNP chief Khaleda Zia for her ‘derogatory comment’ on court during the trial proceedings at a makeshift court inside the old Dhaka central jail.
During the trial proceedings, Khaleda Zia asked the court to punish her as much as it wants, arguing that she is sick and cannot appear before the court now and then.“This is a derogatory remark. If she considers herself innocent, she must appear before the court,” Hasina said while addressing a meeting of Awami League Central Working Committee at her official residence Ganabhaban.
“A criminal is a criminal. She must be punished. Politics has nothing to do with this. No one is subject to any vengeance,” the prime minister said.
BNP leaders alleged that the government set up the court in jail in violation of the constitution to put Khaleda in a camera trial in a ‘so-called corruption case’.
Ruling out BNP’s allegation, Hasina, also the president of the ruling Awami League, said the court has been set up in the jail area to ensure the security of Khaleda.
“A court can be set up anywhere,” she said, adding that BNP made the allegation to mislead the people.
“All the doors were open and people moved there freely. So their allegation of camera trial was not correct,” Hasina said, alleging that Ziaur Rahman first introduced camera trial and hanged Col Abu Taher through such trials.The prime minister asked the BNP leaders to refrain from spreading falsehood about Khaleda’s trial, who has been in jail after a Dhaka court sentenced her to five years’ imprisonment for embezzling fund meant for the orphans.
Another corruption case against Khaleda Zia is in progress. Both cases were lodged by the last army-backed caretaker government.
“She has been trying to escape the court,” Hasina said, adding “If she considers herself innocent, why she is afraid of facing the court?”
The premier was critical of the pro-BNP panel lawyers who were absent from the court.
“Why did they (lawyers) boycott the court? Either they know that they do not have any evidence to help Khaleda get out of jail or they do not want to defend her,” the prime minister said.
Hinting at the BNP leaders, she said they should keep in mind that they are killers. “They have burnt people to death. They should not forget it,” she said.
The prime minister also slammed a section of media outlets for carrying the remarks of Khaleda Zia with importance.
“If miscreants get so importance, where is the ethical value?” she asked.
Hasina also raised questions over Khaleda Zia’s facilities in jail, including a domestic help.
“How a convict gets domestic help inside the jail. Why an innocent individual will languish in jail with a convict?”