Dictated verdict given to keep Khaleda out of election: BNP

Terming the verdict in Zia Charitable Trust graft case a ‘dictated’ one, BNP on Monday alleged that its Chairperson Khaleda has been convicted as per the government’s ‘desire’ to keep her away from next general election.

Nearly an hour after the lower court verdict in the case, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir at a press conference at their Nayapaltan central office also said Khaleda was denied justice in a ‘fabricated’ case.“We think Khaleda Zia has been convicted illegally without any document and witness in a fabricated case out of political vengeance to keep her away from politics. The dictated verdict was given so that she (Khaleda) can’t take part in the upcoming election,” the BNP leader said.

He alleged that the government’s desire and the ministers’ remarks about the case have been reflected in the verdict. “We turn down the verdict.”Fakhrul said justice was not ensured in any way through the verdict. “Khaleda Zia has been deprived of justice.”Earlier in the day, a court here sentenced Khaleda Zia and three others to seven years’ rigorous imprisonment each in the much-talked-about Zia Charitable Trust corruption case.

The court also fined them Tk 10 lakh each, in default, to suffer six months more in jail.Neither any defence lawyer nor Khaleda was present at the court when the verdict was delivered. Fakhrul questioned the validity of the verdict as it was given in absence of their sick chairperson Khaleda Zia.

“The verdict was given when our leader was receiving treatment at a hospital for her ailment. It’s against the law. As per the law, the verdict must be given in presence of the accused persons who are in police custody. But, the verdict was given in absence of her,” he said.

Fakhrul said the trial in the case was also held ‘illegally’ by shifting the court in Old Dhaka Central Jail when Khaleda was unable to appear before the court due to her illness.The BNP leader said their party will stage demonstrations in all metropolitan cities and district towns on Tuesday protesting Khaleda’s conviction in the case.

source: UNB