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9 February, 2018 12:06:08 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 9 February, 2018 12:15:51 AM
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Verdict ‘frustrates’ Khaleda

Says her lawyer after meeting the BNP chief following the verdict
MUHAMMAD YEASIN
Verdict ‘frustrates’ Khaleda

BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia was seen disappointed in the courtroom soon after hearing the five-year jail term against her in connection with the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case. Advocate Abdur Rezzaque Khan, who met Khaleda Zia after the verdict, told this correspondent: "Madam (Khaleda Zia) was astonished hearing the verdict. She wanted to know from me how the court could give her a five-year jail term in a false case. She was also surprised as to how the court could pronounce the sentence without mentioning any charge against her.”

The defence lawyer said: “She was not nervous over the verdict and directed us to file an appeal against the verdict. She sought prayers from the people and said the court had sentenced her in a false and politically motivated case.” Wearing an off-white sari, Khaleda left her Gulshan residence for court at about 11.45am. All along the route, there was fool-proof security since the morning. Law enforcers took up position at Chankharpul, Dhaka Medical College Hospital’s west gate, Buet gate, Bakhshibazar intersection, Alia Madrasa field gate and the main gate of the makeshift courtroom as well as inside the courtroom. Anyone entering the courtroom were frisked. A few lawyers and journalists, who had come before 9am, were able to enter the courtroom.

Many lawyers and journalists had to wait in front of security posts in front of Dhaka Medical College Hospital and the Bakhshibazar intersection. The courtroom was packed with lawyers, journalists and law enforcers within 9.30am. Judge Md Akhtaruzzaman, escorted by high security, reached the court premises at 10.30am and entered his chamber.

Pro-BNP lawyers were seen tensed in the courtroom, while prosecution lawyers were cheerful. Moudud Ahmed entered the court premises along with some lawyers at around 10.20am.

Law enforcers were seen vigilant in and outside the courtroom from the morning to till the BNP chief was taken to jail.

Courtroom people communicated with their colleagues to know when Khaleda would start her journey from her Gulshan residence. Khaleda left her residence at 11.44am. Some said she should reach the makeshift courtroom within 20 minutes as the route is empty.

But she was held up for about three hours as her followers gathered in large numbers from Mogbazar to Dhaka Medical College Hospital. Finally, Khaleda reached the courtroom at 1.51pm.

After she took her seat, pro-BNP lawyers approached her and stood beside her, along with law enforcers. After sometime, Khaleda went to the washroom and returned and sat on her chair at 2.06pm.

Court officials kept documents on the table and Judge Md Akhtaruzzaman entered the courtroom from his chamber at 2.12pm. The judge said it would be better if the private security men would go outside the court. The judge started delivering the verdict at 2.14pm.

Soon after delivering verdict, the judge left the courtroom at 2.30pm. After sometime, the law enforcers took Khaleda to the day-care centre of the old Dhaka Central Jail on Nazimuddin Road at around 2.50pm amid high security.

Before leaving her Gulshan residence, Khaleda spoke to her kith and kin, including her son Tarique Rahman, currently residing in England and who has also been convicted in the Zia Orphanage Trust Graft case, his wife Zubaida Rahman and her granddaughter over phone.  She also offered prayers and assured her weeping relatives by saying: “There is no need to cry. I will be alright. You all wait, I will be back. Do not worry and be strong.”

SHK

 

 

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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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