Main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) on Wednesday accused the authorities of procrastinating the legal process to intentionally delay the release of its chairperson Khaleda Zia.
“She [Khaleda] has been kept behind bars through a blueprint in a bid to keep her away from politics as well as from the [next] elections,” BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir told a media briefing at the party’s Naya Paltan headquarters.
The party organised the briefing hours after the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court stayed until Sunday a High Court order granting a four-month interim bail to BNP chairperson and former prime minister Khaleda Zia in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.
The BNP secretary general said the “illegal and unethical” Awami League government has resorted to the path of “brutal repression” to cling onto the state power.
“All the institutions of the rule and law and democracy have been destroyed one after another,” he added.
“The government is delaying the release of Khaleda Zia through different dirty tactics, apart from procrastinating the legal process. Shortly after the High Court granted her bail, the authorities have started procrastinating the process. All the arrangements were made through various ill tactics so that she can’t walk out of jail.”
Alleging that the biggest damage the Awami League government has caused to Bangladesh is that it has politicised the country’s judiciary, Fakhrul said, “We’ve got proof of that. The chief justice was forced to resign and go into exile.
“They [government] have grabbed the judiciary. It is the last resort of the people. Government’s desire is being reflected in the judiciary’s decision which is unfortunately evident in various recent decisions.”
BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed, also a lawyer by profession, said the Supreme Court has called illegal showing an accused arrested in another case if he or she gets bail. “Even though, they did so.”
The senior jurist said the people of the country have never expected what is happening in the higher court today.
“The Appellate Division stayed the HC order for Khaleda’s bail even without hearing the argument of her lawyers. We didn’t expect such judgement,” he added.
A special judge court of Dhaka on 8 February sent BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia to jail after sentencing her to five years in jail in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.