BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia on Thursday urged the judge of the special court dealing with the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case filed against her to ensure justice as per law in the case with his courage and honesty braving the government’s ‘influence’.
The BNP chief made the call while giving her self-defence statement in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case before the makeshift court of Special Judge-5 at Bakshibazar.
The BNP chief claimed that the case was filed against her as part of the constant efforts of a quarter to harass and defame her and her family as the successor of Ziaur Rahman.
The BNP chief said there is a perception that a verdict will be given against her as per the ruling quarter’s desire. “But I want to believe that you (Judge) will do justice with your courage and honesty as per the law rising above the government’s influence.”
She further said, “Though it’s claimed that our judiciary is completely independent, some recent incidents have been putting the credibility of the assertion into questions regularly… this case will expose whether the judges can conduct trial proceedings lawfully and independently guided by their conscience.”
Khaleda urged the judge to deliver verdict in the case based on good sense, wisdom, farsightedness, guts and integrity. “This case will be a vital element of history. It would be cleared in the days to come whether you could take the right decision guided by the law and your conscience.”
Khaleda started presenting her self-defence statement in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case before the court on October 19.
As she could not complete her statement Thursday, the court fixed next Thursday for further hearing on the case.
On July 3, 2008, the Anti-Corruption Commission filed the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case with Ramna Police Station accusing Khaleda Zia, her eldest son Tarique Rahman, and four others for misappropriating over Tk 21.0 million (2.10 crore) that came as grants from a foreign bank for orphans.
On August 8, 2011, the commission filed the Zia Charitable Trust graft case with Tejgaon Police Station accusing four people, including Khaleda Zia, of abuse of power in raising funds for the trust from unknown sources.