BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir yesterday said party chief Khaleda Zia was very sick.
“Khaleda Zia cannot take food properly. She could not keep her head straight properly during the hearing at the court. Her whole body aches. She vomited before coming to the court,” the BNP leader said.
Fakhrul was talking to journalists in front of old Dhaka central jail after meeting Khaleda during the hearing on charge framing in the Niko graft case.
He said the former prime minister's blood tests were not conducted yet. The government should take steps so that she could receive treatment by her personal specialist physicians, he added.
Expressing concern that doctors of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) were “not giving proper treatment” to her, the BNP secretary general drew the government's attention to the matter.
Earlier on Monday, the jail authorities did not produce Khaleda before another Dhaka court in the Gatco graft case as she was ill.
Around 12:40pm yesterday, the BNP chief was taken to the Special Judge Court-9 of Dhaka, set up inside the erstwhile Dhaka central jail, in a wheelchair.
Sitting in a chair beside Khaleda, Fakhrul talked to her several times till the hearing ended at 1:20pm.
The BNP chief also spoke to her lawyers AJ Mohammad Ali and Masud Ahmed Talukder after the judge left the courtroom.
She asked the lawyers why they were not filing a prayer with the court, seeking her exemption from the case, said witnesses.
Mohammad Ali in reply said an application was already prepared, but it was yet to be submitted to the court.
Judge Sheikh Hafizur Rahman also granted a petition, filed by BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed, an accused in the case, seeking time as he was not present at the court.
However, the judge rejected another petition filed by the defence, seeking certified copies of the case documents.
During the hearing, advocate Masud told the court that they were yet to have the certified copies which were necessary for them to take part in the hearing on charge framing.
The judge said he had passed an order on the matter. He also said the defence did not file the prayer to the court in the prescribed way and the application also contained mistakes.
ACC Public Prosecutor Mosharraf Hossain Kajol said the defence was only delaying the hearing, citing lack of documents. The defence could participate in the hearing with the case documents they already had, he added.
Asked about Khaleda's treatment, he told journalists that there was a court order regarding the matter, but she was not receiving treatment in line with the order.
The court fixed April 1 for the next hearing on charge framing in the case.
On December 9, 2007, the ACC had filed the Niko 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.
The BNP chief landed in jail in February last year after a Dhaka court had handed five-year jail term to her in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case.
Later, she was also convicted in the Zia Charitable Trust graft case.
Khaleda lost her appeal with the High Court as it increased her punishment in the Zia Orphanage graft case to 10 years in prison.
The High Court on October 4 last year had directed the government to immediately admit Khaleda to the BSMMU for treatment.