BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir yesterday expressed concerns over the health of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, and said doctors are not providing proper treatment to her.
“Khaleda Zia told me she is not well. We are very concerned about her health. Her blood tests have not been conducted yet. She is diabetic, but has not received any treatment for it,” he said while talking to reporters in front of Old Dhaka Central jail, after meeting with Khaleda during the hearing on charge-framing in connection with the Niko graft case.
Around 12:30pm, the BNP chief appeared at the court of Judge Sheikh Hafizur Rahman, inside Old Dhaka Central Jail.
Upon her arrival, Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Public Prosecutor Mosharraf Hossain Kajol inquired about her health condition, to which Khaleda replied “I am not well,” reports bangla daily Prothom Alo.
Apart from Mirza Fakhrul, Khaleda also spoke to party leaders Zainul Abedin, Mir Nasir and Khandaker Mahbub Hossain.
Fakhrul sat beside her till the end of the hearing at 1:35pm.
In response to a reporter's question afterwards, Fakhrul said they did not discuss any political issues in the meeting, and mentioned that Khaleda is concerned about her bail.
During the hearing, Khaleda dismissed the allegation that she missed the hearing on charge-framing in Niko graft case on February 20 as she “overslept”.
She said, “I was ready to appear before the court. However, authorities did not produce me to it, and said I skipped the hearing for my sleep.”
On February 20, jail authorities said Khaleda Zia could not be produced before the court as she “did not wake up from sleep”.
At the hearing, BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed, an accused in the case, argued that all accused should be released from the case.
“There is nothing in the case about me -- no documents or witnesses. I gave my opinions when I was in the charge of the ministry. Khaleda Zia also signed the contract following rules,” he said.
Advocate Masud Ahmed Talukder, a lawyer for Khaleda, said he has filed a petition with the court regarding Khaleda Zia's treatment. “We have also filed a time petition as we are yet to receive the certified copies of the case,” he added.
ACC Public Prosecutor Mosharraf Hossain Kajol said Khaleda Zia can get treatment according to jail code. He also claimed that Khaleda's lawyer is only delaying the hearing, citing lack of documents.
Meanwhile, the court asked Khaleda's lawyer if a lower court can pass an order on Khaleda's treatment as there is already an existing order in this regard. The High Court on October 4 last year directed the government to immediately admit Khaleda Zia to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University for treatment.
Advocate Masud told the court that members of the government medical board have met Khaleda in jail on February 24. “The BNP chief said she is not fit enough to sit in the courtroom for the proceedings,” the lawyer claimed.
The court fixed March 19 for the next hearing on the case.
On February 12, a petition was filed with the court by one of Khaleda's lawyer, seeking treatment for the BNP chief. However, the court has not decided on the matter yet.