Monday, March 12, 2018 11:46:11 PM
Staff Reporter :
The High Court (HC) on Monday granted bail to BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia for four months in Zia Orphanage Trust case.
The HC Bench comprising Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Shahidul Karim passed the order after hearing the bail petition.
Khaleda Zia's lawyer Barrister A M Mahbub Uddin Khokan said after the bail order that there is no legal bar to release her from jail.
But there is uncertainty whether she can walk out of jail today (Tuesday) or face challenge to move out of jail.
She is already shown arrest in another case filed with Chowddagram Police Station in connection with an arson attack during blockade programme in 2014.
Khaleda Zia was sentenced to jail for five years on February 8 in connection with Zia Orphanage Trust case filed by Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in 2008.
The High Court considered some grounds to grant her bail. The court said
before passing the bail order that Khaleda Zia's sentence was shorter than other convicts of the case, the case records reached to the High Court, she did not misused the bail granted from the trial court and she is an aged woman.
The court also directed the concern section of the High Court to prepare the paper-book of the case within the next four months for hearing the appeal petition filed by Khaleda Zia against her conviction in the case.
"Anyone of the plaintiff and the defendant can mention the case for appeal hearing after preparation of the paper-book," the court also said in the order.
However, the Anti-Corruption Commission will seek stay on Khaleda Zia's bail in the Chamber Court of the Appellate Division. ACC lawyer Khurshed Alam Khan said, "We will file appeal petition tomorrow (Tuesday) morning against the High Court order."
Attorney General Mahbubey Alam said, they will also file separate appeal petition against the HC order.
At 2.00 pm yesterday, the two judges of the Bench took seats in the courtroom. The presiding judge M Enayetur Rahim asked Khaleda Zia's lawyer Advocate Zainul Abedin if he had anything to say. Then Advocate Zainul said, bail hearing was completed and they were waiting for an order.
Then the Attorney General said, "It is a sensitive case. The orphan's money was embezzled here. The trial court sentenced her shorter than other convicts considering her age and social status. So, the decision can be made after the appeal hearing."
After hearing both side the court passed the order.
After the bail order, the Attorney General instantly sought stay on the HC order for two days. But the HC did not consider this prayer.
Barrister Khokan said, "We are trying to get certified copy of the bail order by today (Monday). Then we will move to the trial court tomorrow (Tuesday) morning for the bail bond."
Meanwhile, hundreds of BNP activists were waiting in the court corridor for the HC order. After hearing the order in favour they expressed joys.
Khaleda Zia filed the appeal petition on February 20 challenging the trial court verdict.
On February 22, 2018, the HC accepted the appeal petition for hearing and stayed the lower court fine of Tk 2.10 crore on Khaleda Zia and asked the lower court to forward the case records in the High Court within 15 days.
The HC on February 25 said that it would deliver an order on her bail prayer after getting the case records from the lower court. As per the HC order, the trial court sent the case documents on March 11. Assistant Sub-Inspector Manju Miah of Kotwali Police Station reached the High Court at 12.54 pm on March 11 with the case documents in a big tank. Section Officer of the High Court Division Farukh Hossain received the documents.
On the same day the High Court Bench rescheduled at 2.00 pm on Monday for passing the order on Khaleda Zia's bail petition. Judge of the Special Court-5 of Dhaka, Dr Md Akhtaruzzaman, sentenced former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia to five years imprisonment in Zia Orphanage Trust case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission.
The special court also sentenced Khaleda Zia's eldest son and BNP Senior Vice-Chairman Tarique Rahman, and four others to 10 years' rigorous imprisonment and slapped a fine of Tk 2.10 crore each.
Advocate Zainul Abedin, Advocate A J Mohammad Ali, Advocate Khandker Mahbub Hossain, Barrister A M Mahbub Uddin Khokan, Barrister Moudud Ahmed, Advocate Nitay Roy Chowdhury, Barrister Kayser Kamal, Advocate Sagir Hossain, Barrister A K M Ehsanur Rahman were present in the court for Khaleda Zia.
BNP's senior leaders Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, Abdul Moin Khan, Mirza Abbas, Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury, Jainal Abdeen Faruq and Abdul Awal Mintoo were also present in the court during the hearing.
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