Zia Charitable Trust graft case: HC rejects stay plea of former B’desh PM

Dhaka [Bangladesh], Jan. 13 : The High Court has rejected a petition filed by former prime minister and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chairperson Khaleda Zia seeking stay on the trial proceedings against her in the Zia Charitable Trust graft case.

The court, however, ordered the Supreme Court registrar general and the law secretary to take steps to ensure that the witnesses of the cases take oath before testifying at the trial courts under the relevant rules, reports the Daily Star.

The HC bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice JBM Hassan passed the order after hearing the petition.

Barrister Bodruddoza Badal, a lawyer for Khaleda, said that his client would move an appeal before the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court against the HC's rejection order.

The former Bangladesh prime minister has filed the petition with the High Court on December 6 last year saying that 32 prosecution witnesses of the Zia Charitable case did not take oath as per the law before their statements were recorded by the trial court.

The BNP chief also requested in the petition to order the lower court to cancel the statements given by the witnesses.

Meanwhile, a Dhaka court yesterday adjourned the hearings on Zia Charitable Trust and Zia Orphanage corruption cases against Khaleda until January 26.

In 2008, the Anti Corruption Commission filed the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case against six including Zia and her son Tarique Rahman.

It alleged that the defendants had embezzled 21 million Bangladeshi Taka from funds meant for the trust, which reportedly came from a foreign bank.

In 2011, the anti-corruption watchdog sued the BNP chief and three others for embezzlement of 31.5 million Bangladeshi Taka (USD 4 lakh) of the Zia Charitable Trust.

Source: ANI