Bangladesh Awami League (AL) president and prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said her party didn’t file the Zia Orphanage Trust case in which her arch enemy BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia was convicted and sentenced to five years in jail.
Following the five-year imprisonment in the case, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chairperson and former prime minister has been kept in Nazimuddin Road jail, the abandoned central jail, in the capital.
The prime minister was speaking at a reception accorded to her by Italy unit of ruling AL at Parco Dei Principi Grand hotel in Rome on Tuesday with its president M Idris Farazi in the chair, UNB news agency reported from Rome, Italy.
Claiming that Moeen Uddin, Fakhruddin and Iajuddin - the architects of the military-backed political changeover in 2007 - are Khaleda’s favourite people, Hasina said, "Awami League didn't lodge the case."
She claimed the government wants to develop the country with changing the fate of people.
"This will be possible only when we we'll be able to check and eradicate corruption, militancy and nepotism," Hasina said adding that the prime goal of her government is to develop Bangladesh.
"I'm the daughter of the father of the nation, and pursue the politics. Why should we indulge in corruption luxury?" she said.
About the recent verdict in a case where BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia was convicted along with others, Hasina said the case was filed by Khaleda Zia's “favourite people” Moeen Uddin, Fakhruddin and Iajuddin. "Awami League didn't lodge the case."
She said BNP people are questioning the justification of giving the punishment just for only Tk two crore, and there are some intellectuals too who are supporting this argument.
"That means there'll be a ceiling of amount of money to commit corruption which will be legal. Are they trying to say that?" she asked.
"Being a former prime minister, Khaleda Zia whitened black money. Where that money came from?" she said.
Hasina also claimed that whenever BNP comes to power, it turns the country into a den of corruption.
Bangladesh topped the list of most corrupt countries as per the Corruption Perception Index (CPI) of the Transparency International in June of 2001 - the final year of Hasina-led government’s five-year tenure.
Although the Berlin-based anti-corruption watchdog started preparing the Corruption Perception Index in 1995, it has included Bangladesh in its list for the first time in 2001.