Hindustan Surkhiyan Desk:BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has to wait until July 5 to know the fate of her petitions seeking bail in two cases filed in connection with “undermining” the national flag and celebrating her “fake” birthday on August 15.
Two Dhaka courts were yesterday scheduled to pass orders on the bail petitions heard on April 25, but the courts kept those petitions in the case files without passing any order, said Khaleda’s lawyer Masud Ahmed Talukder.
The courts also asked the officer-in-charge of Gulshan Police Station to submit the reports on July 5 on execution of arrest warrants in “undermining” the national flag and celebrating “fake” birthday cases.
Meanwhile, upholding the bail granted to Khaleda by the High Court in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case, the Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the HC to dispose of the appeal against her conviction by July 31.
Metropolitan Magistrate Md Khurshid Alam was conducting the case filed for celebrating “fake” birthday on August 15 every year, while another Metropolitan Magistrate Md Ahsan Habib conducting the case filed for “undermining” the national flag.
After Khaleda was convicted and sent to jail on February 8 in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case, she was shown arrested in seven other cases, including undermining” the national flag and celebrating “fake” birthday and four arson ones, filed in Dhaka, Comilla, Khulna and Narail.
Besides the undermining” the national flag and celebrating “fake” birthday cases, there was no development of her getting bail in five other cases as of yesterday.
In another development, lawyers for the BNP chief yesterday submitted four petitions with four Dhaka courts seeking withdrawal of production warrants issued earlier against Khaleda in Gatco, Niko, Barapukuria coal mine and Zia Charitable Trust graft cases.
Of them, production warrant of the Niko graft case was withdrawn, while judges of Gatco and Barapukuria coal mine graft cases will pass orders subject to submission of Khaleda’s SC bail order in Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case.
And judge of the Zia Charitable Trust corruption case fixed June 4 for passing an order on the petition filed for withdrawal of the production warrant, said Sanaullah Miah, lawyer for the BNP chief.
So, Khaleda cannot walk out of prison right now even after winning a hard-fought legal battle for bail in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case at the SC on Wednesday, as she didn’t get bail in seven other cases in which she was shown arrested.
On December 9, 2007, the Anti-Corruption Commission filed the graft case with Tejgaon Police Station, accusing Khaleda and 10 others of abusing power to award a gas exploration and extraction deal to Canadian company Niko during her tenure as the prime minister.
On September 2, 2007, the ACC filed the corruption case with Tejgaon Police Station against Khaleda, her youngest son late Arafat Rahman Koko, executed Jamaat-e-Islami ameer and former industries minister Motiur Rahman Nizami and 10 others.
The case was lodged on charges of corruption in awarding the contract for container management at inland container depots in Dhaka and Chittagong to Global Agro Trade (Pvt) Co Ltd (Gatco).
BARAPUKURIA COAL MINE CASE
The ACC lodged the case with Shahbagh Police Station on February 26, 2008, accusing 16 people, including Khaleda, for graft in awarding Barapukuria coal mine operation contract to a Chinese company.
ZIA CHARITABLE TRUST CASE
The anti-graft body filed the Zia Charitable Trust corruption case with Tejgaon Police Station in August 2011, accusing Khaleda and three others of abusing power to raise funds for the trust from unknown sources.
“UNDERMINING” NATIONAL FLAG
AB Siddique, president of Jananetri Parishad, a pro-Awami League organisation, on November 3, 2016, filed the case, accusing Khaleda and her late husband former president Ziaur Rahman of “undermining” Bangladesh’s map and the national flag.
CELEBRATING “FAKE” BIRTHDAY
On August 30, 2016, Gazi Zahirul Islam, former joint general secretary of Dhaka Union of Journalists, filed a case against Khaleda for celebrating her “fake” birthdays on August 15 every year.
In the complaint, he mentioned that Khaleda’s actual date of birth was not August 15, but she celebrates her birthday on that date every year to undermine and dishonour Bangabandhu.
LAWYERS MEET KHALEDA
Khaleda yesterday alleged that the government was trying to keep her in jail for a long time so that it could hold a one-sided election like that of 2014.
She made the comment while her four lawyers met her at the old Central Jail on Nazimuddin Road in Dhaka yesterday afternoon.
“Khaleda Zia said the lower courts were not granting her bail and withdrawing production warrants issued earlier against her, even though the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court upheld her High Court bail in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case,” said Masud Ahmed Talukder, one of the four lawyers who met her, told The Daily Star.
He said the BNP chief also instructed the party leaders and activists to continue the peaceful movement for her release.
Khaleda is seriously ill and she cannot move normally, the lawyer said, adding that she felt that if she was treated at United Hospital, she would get well.
She also conveyed Ramadan greetings in advance to the people and her party leaders and activists, Masud said.