03 August 2020

SC defers Khaleda’s bail hearing until Dec 12 amid chaos

Medical broad asked to submit report on her health by Dec 12

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on Thursday deferred until December 12 the hearing on BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s bail petition in Zia Charitable Trust Graft Case.

The court also asked the medical board formed to treat Khaleda Zia to submit a report on her health condition before within December 12.

As per an order given by the Appellate Division on Nov 28, the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) authorities were asked to send the BNP chair's medical report to the court on Thursday, but they failed to do so.

A six-member Appellate Division bench, led by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, passed the order following a petition filed by attorney general Mahbubey Alam seeking time.

The court proceedings were disrupted in the morning due to protest by pro-BNP lawyers.

When the bench refused to hear the bail petition until getting Khaleda's medical report from the medical board, pro-BNP lawyers burst into anger and started demonstration. They staged a sit-in at the court.

Khaleda Zia’s lawyer Ziaul Abedin prayed for her bail on humanitarian ground, saying: "She is critically ill and about to die at BSMMU'.

Attorney General Mahbubey Alam filed a petition seeking time for submitting the health report of Khaleda Zia. “The health report of the BNP chief is not ready yet and more time is needed for preparing it,” he said.

On November 28, the six-member Appellate Division bench deferred the hearing on the bail petition in the case until December 5.

It had also asked the medical board formed to treat the BNP chairperson to submit a health report before the court on December 5.

Khaleda had moved the apex court on November 14 challenging a High Court order that had turned down her bail petition in the Zia Charitable Trust corruption case.

The High Court on September 11 rejected Khaleda’s bail petition in the case. Her bail petitions were turned down twice earlier on July 31 and September 3.

On August 8, 2011, the Anti-Corruption Commission filed the Zia Charitable Trust case with Tejgaon police against four people, including Khaleda. They were accused of abusing power in raising funds for the trust from unknown sources.

A special court jailed the BNP chief and three others for seven years in the corruption case on October 29 last year. Khaleda later moved the High Court.

The former prime minister has been in prison since February 8 last year after she was sentenced to jail for five years in a separate corruption case.

Khaleda Zia is currently being treated at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University.

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