Khaleda seeks bail again | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 19, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 19, 2020

Khaleda seeks bail again

Cites poor health; wants to go abroad for treatment

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday again sought bail from the High Court on health grounds. She wants to have treatment abroad.

She has been sentenced to seven years' imprisonment in the Zia Charitable Trust corruption case by a lower court.

Khaleda submitted the bail petition to the HC through her lawyer Sagir Hossain Leon. 

The BNP chief said she has been suffering from several diseases like diabetes and dental problem, and her physical condition has been deteriorating since December 12 last year.  

She is now seriously ill. She cannot move freely, take food, and medicine without the help of others. She needs immediate treatment/therapy abroad, like in the UK, says the petition.  

The HC is yet to set any date for hearing the petition. 

Earlier, the Supreme Court's HC Division denied her bail twice in the case and the Appellate Division once.  

Anti-Corruption Commission chief counsel Khurshid Alam Khan, who received a copy of the petition, told The Daily Star that Khaleda sought bail in the graft case on merit and medical grounds.

"We will oppose the petition before the High Court when it will be heard," he said.   

The lawyer said the BNP chief needs to secure bail in at least two cases -- Zia Charitable Trust and Zia Orphanage Trust graft -- to be released from jail.     

On August 8, 2011, the ACC filed the Zia Charitable Trust graft case with Tejgaon Police Station against four people, including Khaleda. They were accused of abusing power in raising funds for the trust from unknown sources.

A special court in Dhaka jailed Khaleda and three others for seven years in the case on October 29, 2018. She later moved a bail petition before the HC.

On July 31 last year, the HC bench of Justice Obaidul Hassan and Justice SM Kuddus Zaman denied her bail.

"We have gone through the impugned judgment and order of conviction and sentence but did not notice any apparent or glaring infirmity in the same," the bench said rejecting the petition.

In the order, the bench also said Attorney General Mahbubey Alam has assured this court of his readiness for an expeditious hearing of the appeal against the trial court verdict and therefore, there is no possibility of delay in hearing the appeal on merit.

"In the above view of the matter, we do not find any cogent reason for granting the appellant bail at this point of time. Accordingly, the application for bail is rejected," the HC judges said in the order.

On September 3 that year, the BNP chief filed another petition with the HC seeking bail. 

On September 11, another HC bench of Justice Farid Ahmed and Justice ASM Abdul Mobin refused to hold hearing on the bail petition. This bench told Khaleda's lawyers that a senior HC bench (led by Justice Obaidul Hassan) had earlier rejected a similar bail petition on merit.

Later, the BNP chief sought bail from the Appellate Division on health grounds.

The apex court on December 12 last year dismissed her bail petition in the case. The court, however, asked the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) authorities to provide Khaleda with treatment immediately.

The BNP chief landed in jail after being sentenced to five years' imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case by the same special court on February 8, 2017. 

On October 30, 2018, the HC enhanced her punishment to 10 years in the case after dismissing her appeal.

Khaleda then filed an appeal with the SC challenging the HC verdict. The appeal is now pending with the SC.   

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