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POST TIME: 1 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Khaleda secures bail in 32 cases out of 36
MUHAMMAD YEASIN

Khaleda secures bail in 32 cases out of 36

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has to secure bail in just two cases in order to be released from jail, her party and court sources said. The BNP chief has already secured bail in 32 cases out of 34 in which she has been indicted. Charge sheets are yet to be submitted in two other cases.

The 36 cases were filed against the BNP chief during the 2007-2008 army-backed caretaker government and the two terms of Awami League-led grand alliance government, which is now in power.

Barrister Ehsanur Rahman, one of the counsels for the BNP chief, told this correspondent that Khaleda Zia has to secure bail in just two more cases for her release from jail.

“If the BNP chief gets bail in two cases, there will no legal barrier to release her from jail, as she has already secured bail in all the other cases in which charge sheets have been submitted,” Ehsanur Rahman said.

He also informed that the bail petitions in the two cases have already been filed before the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s Court of Cumilla.

The court fixed September 12 for hearing on a bail petition while it would hear the other bail petition after getting the copy of the case,

which is now lying pending with the Cumilla district court, Barrister Ehsanur added.

Apart from these two cases, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court will hear on October 1 the government petitions filed for staying the High Court order that had granted bail for six months to the BNP chairperson in two defamation cases filed in Dhaka and Narail.

The Chamber Judge of the Appellate Division Justice Hasan Foez Siddique also fixed October 1 the date of hearing, without passing any stay order that means the HC order is now in effect, lawyers concerned opined.

Advocate Sanaullah Miah, another counsel for Khaleda, explained about the total number of cases filed against BNP chief that a total of 36 cases have been filed against the BNP chairperson till date.

“Among these, five were filed by the ACC and one for sedition. Besides, 15 cases were filed in Dhaka for hurling bombs, setting fire to a bus at Jatrabari, Darussalam and Gulshan in the city and preventing law enforcement agencies from discharging their duties. Three cases—two for loan default and the other in a civil court regarding the Paltan BNP office plot, and five cases—three in Comilla and one in Khulna and one in Panchgarh were filed for arson attacks. Besides, at least 7 defamation cases were also filed in Dhaka and elsewhere in the country, Sanaullah Miah said, which also confirmed by the prosecution and court sources.

In the Zia Orphanage Trust Graft case, Khaleda Zia was convicted to five years’ imprisonment by the lower court and has been languishing in jail since February 8 this year.

The BNP chief is on bail in the Zia Charitable Trust Graft case. But the closing argument of the case is going on before the court.

In the Gatco graft case, too, the BNP chief is on bail. The trial proceeding in the case is pending with the Special Judge’s Court-3 of Dhaka.

The Anti-Corruption Commission filed the case on September 2, 2007 with the Tejgaon police against Khaleda, her youngest son late Arafat Rahman Koko, executed Jamaat-e-Islami ameer and the then industries minister Motiur Rahman Nizami and 10 others on the charge of corruption involving about Tk 1,000 crore.

Niko graft case: Khaleda is on bail and the trial of the Niko graft case is pending with the Special Judge’s Court-9 of Dhaka.

The ACC filed the case in December 2007, accusing Khaleda and several others of abusing power to award a gas exploration and extraction deal to Canadian company Niko, when she was the prime minister between 2001 and 2006.

Barapukuria coalmine graft case: The BNP chief is on bail in the case and the trial proceeding of the case is pending with the Special Judge’s Court-2 of Dhaka. The ACC filed the case with Shahbagh police on February 26, 2008, accusing 16 people including Khaleda and 10 of her former cabinet colleagues of taking Tk 159 crore in kickbacks on the Barapukuria coalmine deal awarded to the highest bidder instead of the lowest one. She is on bail in this case.

A total of 10 cases were filed with the Darussalam police station against Khaleda and others for damaging and torching vehicles and assaulting policemen and preventing them from discharging their duties during the non-stop blockade enforced by the BNP-led 20-party alliance in 2015.

Police have submitted charge sheets in the cases and the trial proceedings of the cases are now pending with the Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Judge’s Court. She obtained bail in all these cases from the lower court.

A total of four cases were filed against the BNP chief with the Jatrabari police against Khaleda and others for killing and injuring people by hurling petrol bombs at a bus during the non-stop blockade in January 2015. Police have submitted the charge sheets in the cases and the trial proceedings are pending with the Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Judge’s Court.

However, the trial proceedings of the cases have been stayed by the High Court and the BNP chief is on bail in the cases.

Supreme Court lawyer Momtaz Uddin Ahmed Mehehi on January 25, 2016 filed a sedition case against Khaleda for her remarks on the number of Liberation War martyrs.

The case is pending with the Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Judge’s Court. She obtained bail from the lower court on April 6 2017. But trial proceedings have been stayed by the HC.

Khaleda Zia was charged in a criminal case in the Gulshan Police Station on February 16 in 2015 for instigating the bomb attacks on Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan at Dhaka’s Gulshan.

Road Transport Owners and Workers’ Unity Council Leader Ismail Hossain filed the case with the Gulshan police in 2015, accusing Khaleda and 13 others.

Khaleda obtained bail from the lower court on April 6 this year.

On February 13, 2015, Sub-Inspector Khairul Bashar of Fultala police filed the case against 54 identified people including Khaleda and 60-70 unidentified people for torching a vehicle the previous day. The case is under investigation. The charge sheet has not been submitted yet.

The bail petition is yet to be filed as it cannot be filed at this stage of the case, lawyers concerned said.

A total of three cases—one for murder, while two others under the Special Powers Act—were filed with the Chouddagram police in Comilla against Khaleda and several top BNP leaders in connection with arsons on February 3, 2015 during the non-stop movement.

Police pressed charges against Khaleda and the cases are pending with the Comilla Chief Judicial Magistrate’s Court. The court had earlier issued arrest warrants against Khaleda and several others. Khaleda Zia is on bail in one case under the Special Powers Act.

The bail petitions in two other cases will be filed by this week, pro-BNP lawyers said.

A total of seven defamation cases including one for making derogatory remarks on freedom fighters, undermining the national flag, celebrating her ‘fake’ birthday and others accusations have been made against her in Dhaka and elsewhere in the country. The BNP chief secured bail in all the cases from the HC and the lower courts in the meantime.

On February 5, 2015, General Secretary of Boda upazila unit of Panchagarh of Awami Swechchasebak League M Sohag filed a case with the Judicial Magistrate Court-3 in Panchagarh against BNP Khaleda and others for conducting subversive activities, uprooting railway lines, torching vehicles and destroying government properties during a countrywide blockade. The case is now under investigation.

A case is pending with the Dhaka Artha Rin Adalat-1 (money loan court) against Khaleda filed on the charge of defaulting on a loan amounting to Tk 45.49 crore. The case popularly known as Dandy Dyeing case is now at the trial stage.

Besides these, the BNP chief is also faces a civil case regarding the Paltan BNP office plot, which is also under investigation.