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Punish me as much as you want, Khaleda ZIA tells to court

The BNP chief who entered the court on wheelchair told the court, “Punish me as much as you want, punish me as long as you want.”

The three times former premier said this after appearing before Special Judge Court-5 in connection with Zia Charitable Trust corruption case.

The special court was shifted to the old central jail in Nazimuddin Road in Old Dhaka where the BNP chief has been serving jail after she was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case on February 8.

The Judge Md Akhtaruzzaman of the Special Court-5 adjourned the hearing till September 12.

Clad in a pink dress, the BNP chairperson entered the court on a wheelchair around 12:24pm and she was seen having difficulty to move her left hand, our staff correspondent reports.

“The decision to shift the court was taken a week ago, then why the gazette notification was issued yesterday,” she asked the court.

Replying to query on her health condition, Khaleda, while leaving the courtroom, told journalists that her left foot and hand have almost been paralysed.”

Her lawyers were not allowed to defend her, the BNP chief alleged.

Previously, the trial proceedings in the corruption case have taken place at a makeshift court in Bakshibazar area.

The law ministry issued a gazette yesterday, saying the proceedings in the Zia Charitable Trust case would now be held at the old Dhaka central jail on Nazimuddin Road. The decision was made taking Khaleda’s security into consideration.

The Anti-Corruption Commission had filed the Zia Charitable Trust graft case against Khaleda and three others with Tejgaon Police Station in August, 2011. According to the case statement, the former prime minister and three others abused their power and raised funds for the trust from unknown sources.

The three others are Harris Chowdhury, political secretary to the then PM Khaleda, Ziaul Islam Munna, assistant private secretary (APS) to Harris, and Monirul Islam Khan, APS to former Dhaka City Mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka.

 

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