Khaleda declines to appear at court in jail: Prosecution

Court Correspondent . Dhaka | Update:

Khaleda ZiaBNP chairperson Khaleda Zia on Wednesday refused to appear at the makeshift court set up inside an abandoned jail house where she has been kept since February, according to prosecution.

The court of judge of the special trial court-5 Md Akhtaruzzaman, however, heard arguments in the Zia Charitable Trust case in her absence, said state prosecutor Mosharraf Hossain Kajol.

He told the court that the jail authorities could not produce the former prime minister, Khaleda Zia, at the court as she declined to attend the hearing. The court sat at the abandoned central jail on Nazimuddin Road in Old Dhaka.

Khaleda Zia, who was taken to this court on 5 September when her senior lawyers were absent, expressed her apprehensions about getting justice.

Khaleda Zia’s lawyer Sanaullah Mia said it was not proper to set up such a court inside the jail as legal procedure has not been maintained all along.

“We have written to the chief justice to settle the matter,” Sanaullah told newsmen.

He said they have sought adjournment of the case for a month, until the matter pending with the chief justice is settled.

“In the letter to the chief justice, we pointed out that there is no environment for hearing in the makeshift court in the jail. The lawyers normally cannot enter the jail,” Sanaullah pointed out.

In the meantime, he added, a writ has been filed with the High Court seeking arrangement for Khaleda’s treatment in a specialised hospital.

Prosecutor Kajol said the court has been established in the jail to ensure appearance of Khaleda Zia.

“The defense lawyers now term the court in the jail illegal. But they are seeking extension of bail in the same court,” he said.

The court on Wednesday adjourned the hearing till Thursday.

The BNP chief, Khaleda Zia, has been in jail since her conviction of five years in jail by a Dhaka court in Zia Orphanage Trust case on 8 February.

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