Despite being sick, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia was forced to appear before a makeshift court inside the city's old central jail on September 5, her lawyer Zainul Abedin alleged yesterday.
“Khaleda Zia is not fit for appearing before the court and she needs treatment immediately,” he told The Daily Star after meeting the BNP chief in the jail in the afternoon.
After appearing before the special court on Wednesday, Khaleda expressed her lack of confidence in the court which is holding trial of the Zia Charitable Trust graft case.
None of Khaleda's lawyers was present during the court proceedings.
A four member delegation of Khaleda's lawyers, led by BNP standing committee member Zamiruddin Sircar, met her in the prison yesterday. The two other members of the team were Abdur Rezak Khan and AJ Mohammad Ali.
Khaleda told her lawyers that the government was trying to punish her in the charitable trust graft case like it did in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case.
“Madam [Khaleda] told us that she was not involved in any corruption as mentioned in the cases filed against her. The government has been keeping her behind bars because of political vengeance.”
The lawyer said they talked to Khaleda for around an hour. She instructed the BNP men to remain united, he added.
'GOVT TRYING TO KILL KHALEDA'
Earlier in the day, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir alleged that the government was trying to kill the BNP chief by illegally detaining her in jail after punishing her in a false case.
“The government knows that its political existence will be in crisis if Khaleda Zia is freed. That's why it is illegally detaining her in false cases even after she secured bail in many cases,” the BNP leader said at a press conference at the party's Nayapaltan central office.
He warned that the government and the jail authorities would be held responsible for violating the constitution and human rights if they didn't allow Khaleda to receive better treatment.
Fakhrul said Khaleda's family members met her in jail on Thursday and informed the BNP leaders about her health. He expressed disappointment and concern over the party chief's health.
He said the government was not taking any step for Khaleda's treatment although she was “seriously ill”.
He urged the government to take steps to ensure her better treatment at any specialised private hospital and free her from jail to save her life.
“We once again call upon the government to free our leader from jail and allow her to receive proper treatment. Or else, people will not forgive you.”
Opposing Khaleda's trial at the court inside the jail, Fakhrul said the government has “become desperate to further punish the BNP chairperson”.
He said trial of a sick citizen cannot be held inside jail as per the constitution and related laws. He termed the move “completely unconstitutional and an inhuman act”.
BNP standing committee members Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Abdul Moyeen Khan, Nazrul Islam Khan and Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury were present.
LEADERS WANTS TO MEET MINISTER
The BNP has sought a meeting with Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan on September 9 to discuss Khaleda's health.
The party chief's personal secretary, ABM Sattar, sent a letter to the home ministry on September 6 in this regard, Sayrul Kabir Khan, a staff of Khaleda's media wing, told The Daily Star.
A 10-member delegation, led by Fakhrul, wants to meet the home minister, he said.