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11 September, 2015 00:00 00 AM
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Hearing in graft cases adjourned till Sept 17

Khaleda appears in court
Hearing in graft cases adjourned till Sept 17
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia appears before the court of Dhaka’s Third Special Judge at Bakshibazar to attend hearing of two corruption cases against her yesterday. Banglar Chokh Photo

A Dhaka court yesterday adjourned the hearing on the Zia Charitable Trust and Zia Orphanage Trust graft cases against the chairperson of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), Khaleda Zia, till September 17.
Special Judge’s Court-3 of Dhaka Judge Abu Ahmed Jomadar fixed the date after cross-examining seven witnesses. The former prime minister appeared before the makeshift court at Bakshibazar around 11am to attend the hearing and left around 2:15pm after the day’s proceedings. The BNP chief had been absent on the three previous consecutive hearings, citing health problems.
During yesterday's hearing, advocate Sanaullah Miah of Khaleda Zia’s team of lawyers made a time prayer, stating they were yet to receive the affidavit on the Zia Charitable Trust graft case. The court took note of it, but directed the lawyers to take part in the hearing. Later, advocate Rezaque Khan, one of Khaleda Zia’s counsel, cross-examined the seven witnesses.
The court recorded the statements of senior principal officer of Pubali Bank, HM Ismail, a Sonali Bank officer, Dr Md Hafizur Rahman, and two Janata Bank officers, Mokbul Ahmed and Fahmida Rahman, as witnesses.
Advocate Mosharraf Hossain Kazal appeared for the Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) while AJ Mohammad Ali and Barrister Mahbub Uddin Khokon took part in the hearing on behalf of Khaleda Zia.
Barrister Mahbub Uddin Khokon, another counsel for Khaleda, later alleged that the government was trying to rush through the case. He also alleged that the government has filed the cases against Khaleda with an evil motive in order to fulfil a political objective, and now it wants to complete the trial proceedings quickly.
The ACC’s lawyer Mosharraf Hossain, however, told reporters that proceedings of the cases have to be completed within 60 days, as per the law. “But the cases were filed against Khaleda Zia more than five years ago. So, the defence counsel's allegation about its quick disposal is not true,” he added.
Earlier, the Special Judge’s Court 3, set up on the playground of the Government Alia Madrasah in the capital’s Bakshibazar area, fixed 10 September for recording witness’s depositions in the graft cases.
On August 8, 2011, the ACC filed the Zia Charitable Trust graft case at the Tejgaon police station accusing four people, including Khaleda Zia, of abusing power while raising funds for the trust from unknown sources.
ACC deputy director Harunur Rashid, who is also an investigation officer in the case, pressed charges against the accused on January 16, 2012.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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