'Plot to keep me off polls'
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia yesterday alleged that the government was framing her in politically-motivated cases as part of its conspiracy to keep her away from politics and elections.
“The ruling quarter is making a blueprint with a dishonest political motive to keep me away from politics and declare me disqualified in the election," she said.
Khaleda made the comment in her self-defence statement for the third day yesterday before a makeshift court in Dhaka in connection with the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case.
“The activities and efforts of the government high-ups clearly prove that I will be denied justice. The people's perception of the matter is the same," she told the court in Bakshibazar.
Khaleda alleged that some ministers were openly saying that she would be sent to the Kashimpur jail while other ruling party leaders were threatening to eliminate her from politics.
“Such type of speeches and threats are tantamount to contempt of court,” she said.
The former prime minister also said it seemed to her that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has got a magic wand in her hand.
“With the grace of the magic wand, all the corruption and extortion charges against Sheikh Hasina were withdrawn after she assumed power. On the other hand, similar cases filed against me were revived as I have nothing in my hand."
She also alleged that many important cases have been pending with courts for years, but the proceedings in cases filed against her got a "rocket pace".
“…Why is such hurriedness? Will justice be ensured through such hurriedness?”
Khaleda said, “We expected justice and still expect nothing but justice. We hope that we will get justice going beyond all the influence. I am talking about justice repeatedly because the people of the country doubt whether that would be ensured in the end. We are also concerned."
Judge Md Akhtaruzzaman of the Special Judge Court 5 of Dhaka recorded the self-defence statement and fixed November 9 for the next hearing.
Earlier in the day, the defence submitted two petitions seeking extension of Khaleda's bail.
On August 8, 2011, the ACC filed the Zia Charitable Trust graft case with Tejgaon Police Station, against four, including Khaleda, for raising funds for the trust allegedly from unknown sources through abuse of power.
The ACC filed the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case on July 3, 2008 with Ramna Police Station, accusing Khaleda, her elder son Tarique Rahman and four others for allegedly misappropriating over Tk 2.10 crore that was received as grants for orphans via a foreign bank.