A special court on Thursday fixed September 20 for delivering its order whether the trial in Zia Charitable Trust graft case against BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia will continue in her absence.
Judge Md Akhteruzzaman of Dhaka Special Judge Court-5 fixed the date after holding a hearing in the case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).Public prosecutor Mosharraf Hossain Kajol submitted a petition before the court to deliver the verdict in the case after completing the trial in absence of Khaleda as she did not appear in the court in the last several months due to her illness.
On the other hand, Sanaullah Mia, a lawyer of the imprisoned BNP chairperson, submitted a petition to allow two lawyers to meet her in jail to know about her physical condition.
The court instructed the jail authorities to take steps regarding lawyers meeting Khaleda Zia as per the Jail Code.
The BNP chief did not appear before the court during the hearing. The jail authorities informed the court that she refused to come to the court.
On Wednesday, Khaleda did not appear in the court set up at the Old Dhaka Central Jail in the case.
Besides, Khaleda’s lawyers filed a petition, saying that the makeshift court inside the prison could not continue its proceedings without permission from the Supreme Court.Later, the court adjourned Wednesday’s hearing until Thursday, saying Khaleda’s lawyers to submit a written explanation on how the trial will continue in the case.
Previously, the trial proceedings used to take place at a makeshift court in Bakshibazar area, but the Law Ministry on September 4 issued a gazette notification that the trial in the case will be held at Old Dhaka Central Jail. The decision was taken, taking Khaleda’s security into consideration, it said.
During the first hearing at the court in the old central jail on September 5, Khaleda was produced before it where she expressed a lack of confidence in the special court dealing with the case.
The BNP chief told the court, “I am very sick I can’t come to the court repeatedly. You can punish me for as many days as you want. I can’t come here again.”
Khaleda, who was sentenced to five years in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case on February 8 this year, is now at old Dhaka central jail on Nazimuddin road.