12:00 AM, June 09, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, June 09, 2008

I will not go abroad

Says Khaleda, prefers treatment in country

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Staff Correspondent

Detained former prime minister Khaleda Zia yesterday ruled out any possibility of going abroad, saying that she would have medical treatment at home if necessary.
“I will not go abroad. Why should I? All things I have are in Bangladesh. I want to stay with the people as I have been,” the BNP chairperson told reporters after the hearing on the charge framing in Niko graft case against her and 11 others at a special court.
“Who told you that I am going abroad,” the former prime minister inquired and the reporters told her that they came to know about it from their sources.
“You better ask them,” an amused Khaleda said.
Khaleda was produced before the Special Court-9 on the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban premises at 11:15 in the morning amid tight security.
Terming the case 'false' and 'baseless,' the BNP chairperson said that the case has been filed to harass herself, her family members and others.
Asked about the medical board recommendations for her treatment abroad, Khaleda said, “I will receive treatment in the country if needed since there are many good doctors at home.”
Renewing her call to the government for lifting of the state of emergency and holding the national elections immediately, the former prime minister said that a free and fair poll is not possible without the participation of all political parties.
The people would not accept any 'manipulated' election, she observed.
The BNP chairperson said that she wants the trial under the existing laws in the conventional court, since justice will not be established in a 'camera trial' in the special court.
Regarding the government's move to amend the constitution, Khaleda said that the caretaker government has no right to do so and only an elected government can do it, if needed.
Meanwhile, Judge Khandaker Kamal Uz-zaman of the special court fixed June 12 to give order on a petition filed by the defence counsel.
In their petition, Khaleda's lawyers said that the case cannot be continued as separate trial proceedings on the same charges are going on at present.
They said that the case should resume only after the proceedings of Niko graft case against Hasina end, since both the cases involve the same event, same summary and same evidence.
On another prayer, the court granted the defence lawyers, including BNP Secretary General Khandaker Delwar Hossain, 30 minutes for legal consultation with Khaleda.
Talking to the reporters later, Delwar said that the BNP chairperson had told them that a farcical trial is going on in a false case against her, adding that she had demanded immediate withdrawal of the case.
“My sons are very sick and there is no development in their conditions so far. I demand their proper medical treatment,” he quoted Khaleda as saying.
On December 9 last year, Assistant Director of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Mahbubul Alam filed the case with Tejgaon Police Station against Khaleda and others on charge of abuse of power in awarding a gas exploration and extraction deal to Canadian company Niko.

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