Dhaka, December 1: BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia on Thursday claimed that she is not guilty in Zia Orphanage and Zia Charitable Trust corruption cases.
The BNP chief came up with the assertion appearing before the special court and pleaded not guilty in the cases.
Judge Abu Ahmed Jomader of Special Judge Court-3, a special court at Bakhshibazar, concluded hearing and set December 8 as the next hearing date.
Earlier around 11:30am, the BNP chief appeared before the court.
The court first read out brief depositions placed by some 32 witnesses in the cases. Later, Khaleda Zia started delivering her statement before the court defending self.
Khaleda said she did not read any written speech. In response, the court said they (court) would write the full speech of Khaleda Zia.
The former prime minister also told the court that today the whole nation is repressed. “The whole Bangladesh has been turned into a large jail. Thousands leaders and activists of opposition parties are now in jail in false cases.”
According to the chargesheet in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case filed in 2008, Khaleda, her son Tarique Rahman and four others embezzled Tk 2.1 crore by forming the charity that exists only on paper.
In 2011, on the other hand, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed the other graft case accusing Khaleda and three others of abusing power to set up a charitable trust named after Ziaur Rahman, according to the commission.