BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia on Thursday said the Niko deal was signed when Awami League was in power and the BNP government just maintained its continuity.
Khaleda came up with the remarks when she was produced before a makeshift court at the Old Central Jail in the Niko graft case, said Khaleda’s lawyer Advocate Sanaullah Miah.
“Sheikh Hasina was an accused in the same case; she got acquittal, but not me. If I’m produced before the court then Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina should also be produced before the court in the graft case,” Sanaullah Miah quoted her as saying.
In response to Khaleda’s statement, Dhaka Special Judges’ Court-9 Judge Mahmudul Kabir said Sheikh Hasina has already been acquitted from the graft case by the High Court, so there’s no question of producing her before the court in the case.
The court also set November 14 for the next hearing in the case.
Earlier, Khaleda Zia was discharged from Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) upon approval from the medical board formed for her treatment, said BSMMU Director Brigadier general Abdullah-Al-Harun.
Later, a black SUV carrying Khaleda reached the old central jail in the capital's Nazimuddin Road around 11:40 am, according to jail sources.
Several police vehicles escorted her to the old Central Jail from the hospital in the morning.
Following the hearing, she was taken back to the jail, they said.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Law Ministry issued a gazette notification saying that the trial of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and others accused in the Niko corruption case will be held at the makeshift court in Old Dhaka central jail.
The ministry issued the gazette notification transferring the court citing security reasons.
According to the gazette, room No 7 of the old central jail's administrative building will be the venue for the makeshift court.
A large number of police, Rapid Action Battalion (Rab), Detective Branch (DB) of police and Ansar members was deployed in and around Nazimuddin Road to maintain law and order.
On October 6, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia was admitted to the BSMMU after prison authorities shifted her there from jail for better treatment in response to a court order.
On October 4, the High Court directed the government to immediately admit Khaleda Zia to the BSMMU and form a 5-member medical board afresh for her treatment.
Khaleda Zia was in the erstwhile Dhaka Central Jail at Nazimuddin Road since she was sentenced to five years' imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case on February 8 last.