Dhaka: BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia on Wednesday appeared in the makeshift court set up in the old central jail on Nazimuddin Road in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case without her senior lawyers.
“You don't get justice here. You can hand me whatever punishment you want. I am ill. I cannot come here so many times,” she said.
Judge of the court Md Akhtaruzzaman attended the court at 11:00am while Khaleda was produced before him at 12:15pm.
The former prime minister also said, “My legs swell up if I sit like this. None of my senior lawyers came today. I would not have come had I known this.”
Brought in a wheelchair, the BNP chair was wearing a purple saree, her legs covered with a white shawl.
Dhaka Bar Association President Golam Mostafa Khan came to the court on the day. When he saw that none of her senior lawyers were present, the pro-BNP lawyer spoke to Khaleda with the permission of the court.
“I have come here as the president of Dhaka Bar Association. The order that the court will sit here in the jail did not reach her lawyers,” he said, urging the court to set a fresh date for the debate that was scheduled for today.
Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) lawyer Mosharraf Hossain Kajal, however, claimed that the order did reach Sanaullah Mia, the most senior lawyer moving for Khaleda.
In the end, judge Md Akhtaruzzaman extended the bail and set 12 and 13 September the next dates for the hearing.
On July 3, 2008 the ACC filed the Zia Orphanage Trust case with Ramna Police Station accusing Khaleda, her eldest son Tarique Rahman, now living in the UK after securing bail, and four others for misappropriating over Tk 21. 0 million (2.10 crore) that came as grants for orphans from a foreign bank.