Copy of 632-page verdict takes time: Anisul

19 February 2018

Law Minister Anisul Huq has responded to Khaleda Zia's lawyers, saying that the judge in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case is taking a 'reasonable amount of time' to produce a copy of the verdict due to its length.
"As a lawyer I am familiar with the situation," he told the media at the Secretariat on Sunday. "A 632-page verdict takes some time. It is wrong to cause unreasonable delays. But a reasonable amount of time should be allowed." The time taken to issue a certified copy of the verdict depends on its length, he had previously told the media at an event at the CIRDAP auditorium. "Death row convicts must receive a copy of the verdict within 24 hours of the sentencing. But for other criminal charges the certified copy must be delivered within a reasonable amount of time." BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, who was sentenced to five years in prison on Feb 8, has been unable to appeal the decision because her defence team does not have a copy of the verdict.  Party activists hope the BNP chief will be released on bail after the appeal is made.
BNP leaders have claimed that the copy of the verdict has been delayed so as to keep Khaleda in prison. "I don't care what they say," said Huq. "We are not causing any unusual problems." Khaleda's lawyers have received an assurance from the judge that the verdict copy would be available Monday. Food Minister Qamrul Islam has claimed that the BNP has caused the delay in an attempt to gin up protest. The government has no role in the verdict copy being delayed, Huq said.  "We want her to appeal the case."

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