POST TIME: 7 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 6 September, 2018 11:29:18 PM
Makeshift court aims at punishing Khaleda thru camera trial: SCBA

Makeshift court aims at punishing Khaleda thru camera trial: SCBA

Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) President Advocate Joynul Abedin yesterday alleged that the government has set up a makeshift court in the Old Dhaka central jail in order to hold a camera trial to ‘illegally’ punish BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia in the Zia Charitable Trust graft case. The special court was held inside the jailhouse where Khaleda has been lodged since her conviction in another case on February 8. “The court has been set up in the old central jail so that people cannot see or understand the illegal activities of the government in the name of a trial,” Joynul Abeding alleged while addressing a press briefing organised by the SCBA at its auditorium in the capital.

He also demanded the withdrawal of the September 4 gazette notification that says the trial of Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case against Khaleda would be held at the administrative building of the old central jail.

The law ministry issued the gazette notification on Tuesday, saying the proceedings in the Zia Charitable Trust case would now be held at the old central jail on Nazimuddin Road. The decision was made citing security reasons.

“According to Article 35 (3) of the constitution and section 352 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), a court will be set up at such an open place where people can enter.  But the makeshift court that was set up in the old central jail is contradictory to the constitution and the CrPC as there is no scope for the lawyers of the accused persons to take part in the hearing as well as the relative of the accused and common people to see the trial proceedings,” Joynul claimed in a written statement.

He also said that there is every possibility of suffocation if people stay at the court for some time.

There is no legal scope to hold the trial against Khaleda in the ‘illegal’ court, which was set up only to punish the BNP chief, said Abedin, also a vice-chairman of BNP.

During the briefing, SCBA Secretary AM Mahbub Uddin Khokon, SCBA vice-president Advocate Golam Mostafa, pro-BNP lawyers Golam Rahman Bhuiyan, Nitay Roy Chowdhury, Sanaullah Miah, Badruddoza Badal, Aminul Islam, Gazi Kamrul Islam, AKM Ehsanur Rahman and Mehedi Hasan were also present, among others.

Earlier on Wednesday, expressing lack of confidence to the makeshift court, the BNP chief said, “There is no justice here. Punish me for as many days as you want; punish me for as long as you want.”

The three-time former premier told the special judge court-5, which is hearing the Zia Charitable Trust corruption case, that it was not possible to appear there again as she was severely ill.

The Anti Corruption Commission had filed the case with Tejgaon Police Station in August 2011, accusing Khaleda and three others of abusing their power to raise funds for the trust from unknown sources.

The three other accused are Harris Chowdhury, political secretary to Khaleda during her premiership between 2001 and 2006, Ziaul Islam Munna, assistant private secretary (APS) to Harris, and Monirul Islam Khan, APS of former Dhaka city mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka.