BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir today said that the decision to try BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia at the old Dhaka central jail in the Zia Charitable Trust corruption case is contrary to the country’s constitution.
The Article 35 (3) of the constitution ensures that every person accused of a criminal offence shall have the right to a speedy and public trial by an independent and impartial court or tribunal established by law.
Citing the article, Fakhrul said, “We are telling very clearly that it is a blatant violation of the constitution. According to Article 35 (3) of the constitution, the trial will have to be held openly.”
“We are treating it as a camera trial. We are demanding withdrawal of such move,” Fakhrul came up with the demand while addressing a press conference held at the party Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s Gulshan office in Dhaka this evening.
The government publicised a decision today to set up a special court for the trial of the former prime minister inside the old central jail at Dhaka’s Nazimuddin Road on security ground.
A gazette notification was issued by the government today in this regard.
In the gazette, the authorities cited Khaleda’s illness for not producing her in court during hearings earlier.
Khaleda is kept as the lone inmate in a room on the first floor of the prison while the court will be set up on the ground floor.
The next hearing in the case will be held tomorrow.
The BNP chief has been in prison after being sentenced to five years in jail in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case on February 8 this year.
“We will go for a harsher street movement immediately if the decision is not withdrawn,” the BNP leader warned.
“Citizen rights of a former prime minister are being snatched by violating the constitution. What sort of big offence can happen than this? We are considering the issue as politically motivated,” Fakhrul said.
He also strongly condemned the government for such move and demanded immediate release of the imprisoned Khaleda Zia for the sake of holding of the next general election in free, fair and inclusive manner.
“We must go for political programmes,” Fakhrul told a questioner.
Khaleda has received bail in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case, but several courts ordered her arrest in different cases on various charges including arson and vandalism, instigating violence, defamation and distortion of history.
“The government has kept Khaleda Zia in confinement illogically and unlawfully,” Fakhrul said.
The government has taken such move to establish a one-party rule in the country, he said.