Khaleda files appeal seeking acquittal, HC to hear the appeal Thursday


Dhaka, Feb 20: The High Court (HC) on Tuesday fixed Thursday for hearing the appeal petition filed by lawyers of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia challenging her imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust case.An HC bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Shahidul Karim will hear the petition on the day.

Earlier in the afternoon, Khaleda’s lawyers filed an appeal with the concerned division of the High Court and sought bail for BNP chairperson challenging the lower court verdict that awarded five years imprisonment in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.

In the 1,222-page appeal, Khaleda Zia pleaded to the High Court to acquit her of the corruption charge and grant her bail in the case.

Advocate Sagir Hossain Leon, a lawyer for the BNP chief, confirmed the matter.

Khaleda Zia, also former prime minister of the country, also prayed to the court to stay the lower court verdict that also fined her Tk 2.10 crore.

Claiming herself innocent, she mentioned 25 grounds in the petition on which the HC may consider her prayer, the lawyer said.

On Monday, the Special Judge’s Court-5 of Dhaka, released certified copy of the verdict in which found Khaleda guilty in the graft case on February 8.

After the appeal was filed, advocate Sagir said the Anti-Corruption Commission has brought false and fabricated charges against Khaleda in the case and the original documents were not produced before the trial court.

On February 8, Judge Md Akhtaruzzaman of the special court sentenced also sentenced Khaleda’s eldest son and BNP Senior Vice Chairman Tarique Rahman and four others to 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment, and fined Tk 2.10 crore each.

The other convicts are Kazi Salimul Haque, ex-BNP lawmaker from Magura; Sharfuddin Ahmed, a businessman; Mominur Rahman, a cousin of Tarique; and Kamal Uddin Siddique, former principal secretary to the PM.

The ACC filed the case with Ramna Police Station in July 2008, accusing Khaleda and five others of misappropriating over Tk 2.1 crore that had come from a foreign bank as grants for orphans.