The High Court has granted bail to BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia for four months in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case in which she was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment.
A division bench comprising Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Shahidul Karim passed the order on Monday.
Although the HC completed hearing on the bail petition on February 26, but it could not pass the order for not getting documents of the case from the lower court. The HC on February 22 directed the lower court to send the case documents within 15 days.
The case documents reached the High Court on Sunday noon.
Assistant sub-inspector Manju Mia of Kotowali police station brought the documents to the HC at 12:54pm while section officer KM Farooq Hossain received the documents.
Khaleda Zia landed in jail after a lower court in Dhaka sentenced her to imprisonment for five years on February 8.
After getting the certified copy of the verdict, she filed an appeal and bail petition with the HC through her lawyers.
On Thursday, Supreme Court Bar Association president Zainul Abedin, also Khaleda Zia’s counsel, told the HC that the deadline for reaching case documents expired. He prayed to the HC to pass an order on the bail petition, but the apex court kept the order pending.
Meanwhile, five defence counsels met Khaleda Zia at old Dhaka Central Jail on Thursday afternoon.
At a press briefing at the jail gate, the lawyers said that BNP chairperson is optimistic about her bail. They said Khaleda Zia has faith in the court and she is hopeful of getting bail.
BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia’s involvement in embezzlement of fund of Zia Orphanage Trust and abuse of power was proved by two letters sent by the then principal secretary Dr Kamaluddin Siddiqui to the then prime minister Khaleda Zia, said the trial court in its verdict.
Dr Kamaluddin Siddiqui sent the letters to the Anti-Corruption Commission deputy assistant director Harun-or-Rashid.
Harun-or-Rashid being an informant, investigating officer and prosecution witness in the case, annexed the letters, which were considered by the court one of the grounds for convicting Khaleda Zia.
In his letters, Kamaluddin claimed that the then prime minister ordered transfer of fund of Zia Orphanage Trust to another account.
The court in its verdict termed the letters one of the evidences, which led to the conclusion that Khaleda Zia was involved in the corruption.
Khaleda Zia, in her defence statement submitted to the court under section 342 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), confessed to committing the corruption and abusing power, the verdict said.
In the verdict, the court observed that the incidents of depositing big amount of money with the bank by the principal secretary and his subsequent letters to the ACC proved involvement of Khaleda Zia in the corruption.
A Dhaka court, on February 8, sentenced the BNP chief and three times premier to rigorous imprisonment for five years in the graft case involving embezzlement of the Zia Orphanage Trust fund through abuse of power.