Punish me as much as you want: Khaleda


Court Correspondent :
The trial proceedings of BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia in Zia Charitable Trust graft case began around 12:15 pm yesterday (Wednesday) at a makeshift court set up in the old central jail on the Nazimuddin Road in absence of her lawyers.
Meanwhile, some female security personnel guided Khaleda Zia in the courtroom by a wheelchair at 12.13 pm. She was wearing a light-indigo coloured shari and black spectacles. She was seated on the wheelchair as long as the trial proceedings continued.  
On the occasion, Khaleda Zia informed the court about her illness.  She said, "I am sick. I won't appear here frequently. My left foot and hand have almost been paralysed. Here is the medical report. You can keep an eye on the report. How much I am ill can be verified. " "This court has been set up here to punish me. There is no justice. Trial is being held at will", she added. There is nothing like fair-play. Injustice is being done. One cannot speak here."
The BNP Chief, entered the court on a wheelchair and told the court, "Punish me as you want, punish me as you want." She further said, "I can't move my left hand. I can't stand even."
"The date for today's hearing was actually fixed earlier. But the gazette was issued one day before. My senior lawyers did not come to this court, Khaleda Zia added.
The former Prime Minister said this after appearing in the Special Judge Court-5 in connection with Zia Charitable Trust graft case.
The special court was shifted to the old central jail on Nazimuddin Road in Old Dhaka.
Later, Judge Dr Md Akhtaruzzaman of the Special Court fixed the next date for hearing on September 12 and 13. The day's proceedings of the court ended at 12.39 pm. The court heard the submissions of the prosecution and defence. Dhaka Bar Association's present President was present on the occasion and spoke briefly on the behalf of Khaleda Zia.
Security measures were beefed up in and around central jail area in Old Dhaka's Nazimuddin Road over setting up a makeshift court there for the trial of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia in Zia Charitable Trust graft case. Additional police were deployed in the area on the occasion.
Earlier, the Law Ministry issued a gazette on Tuesday, saying the proceedings in the Zia Charitable Trust case would now be held at the old Dhaka central jail on the Nazimuddin Road. The decision was taken with Khaleda Zia's security into consideration.
On August 8, 2011, the Anti-Corruption Commission, ACC filed the case against the BNP Chief and three others for embezzling  Tk 3.15 crore from the Zia Charitable Trust Fund.
Other accused persons in the case are Khaleda Zia former Political Secretary Harris Chowdhury, his former personal assistant Ziaul Islam Munna and former Dhaka City Mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka's personal assistant Monirul Islam Khan.
The makeshift special court for the trial was shifted to the old central jail, where the BNP Chief has been imprisoned, from Government Ali, Madrasa in the capital's Bakshibazar. Meanwhile, Khaledda Zia's lawyers cited the move as 'contrary to law'.
On February 8, BNP leader was imprisoned for five years in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case and sent her to the old central jail on Nazimuddin Road. Judge Dr Akhteruzzaman of Dhaka's Fifth Special Judge's court lelivered the verdict in he grfaft case filed by the Anti-Corruption during the last army-backed caretaker Government in 2008.