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17 February, 2020 10:43:16 AM
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Khaleda lawyers to file bail plea anew this week

‘Release on parole possible if she apologises’
STAFF REPORTER, Dhaka
Khaleda lawyers to file bail plea anew this week
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia. File Photo

Lawyers of ailing BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia will file a fresh petition before the higher court this week seeking her release on bail, according to a highly placed source in the party. The lawyers are going to take the legal step as both the party and family members of Khaleda want her bail under any procedure possible.

Party leaders, Khaleda’s family members and lawyers say the health condition of the former premier has deteriorated massively as the ailing leader remains imprisoned for long.

Along with continuing legal battle, the BNP policymakers are also trying to find a process to secure the release of the party chairperson without seeking parole, the sources said.

As part of the initiative, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir talked to his ruling Awami League counterpart

Obaidul Quader, asking him to seek favour of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in this regard.

However, the AL general secretary yesterday said the government may consider the case if any application is submitted seeking Khaleda Zia’s release on parole. He also said that the issue of her release on bail is a matter lying with the court and not the government.

“They (BNP) can, however, submit application through the home minister for her (Khaleda) release on parole following the government procedures,” he added.

Meanwhile, Minister for Home Affairs Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said the government will consider Khaleda’s release if she admits her guilt and offers apology for it.

However, according to UNB, he also said no application was received until yesterday seeking her release on parole.

“The government will consider the BNP chief’s release if she appeals for parole after admitting her guilt and offering apology for it,” he said while talking to the reporters after attending a religious programme in Tarail upazila of Kishoreganj in the afternoon. The minister also said the BNP chairperson is receiving the country’s ‘highest’ treatment at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU).

Khaleda has been in jail since she was convicted in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case on February 8, 2018. She was found guilty in another corruption case later the same year, though her party claims both the cases are politically motivated.

Meanwhile, Khaleda’s lawyer Advocate Zainul Abedin said they will again file a bail petition this week seeking their party chief’s release. Pointing at section 401(1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure, he said the government can suspend jail term of such convicts under special consideration. 

BNP Law Affairs Secretary and Khaleda’s counsel Barrister Kaiser Kamal yesterday confirmed that they were taking preparation to file a fresh petition seeking bail of Khaleda Zia on health ground.

“Since the ailing leader (Khaleda) is in jail for long and her health condition has been deteriorating massively, her bail is very urgent to save her life,” the lawyer said.

Replying to a question, Kamal said as they (lawyers) are going to file a bail petition, it may be assumed that she has consented to that. “She is respectful to the laws of the land and believes that she will get bail lawfully,” he added.

The bail petition will be submitted on behalf of Khaleda Zia in Zia Charitable Trust graft case, he added.

One of Khaleda’s counsels said the fresh petition may mention the intent of Khaleda to seek better treatment in London as a ground for granting the bail plea.

Earlier on Friday, the BNP standing committee in a meeting with Khaleda’s lawyers decided to submit a fresh petition for the release of former premier.

Meanwhile, ruling party sources said that they won’t allow any move of the BNP to do politics by taking advantage over the possible release of Khaleda.

A BNP source said Khaleda’s family members may file an application to the home ministry seeking her release on parole. However, no BNP leader could confirm the matter or any development in this regard.

Khaleda Zia in prison for over two years since February 8, 2018 after a special court sentenced her to five years in jail in a graft case. Later, her jail termed was doubled in the case by the high court while she was awarded another 7 years jail term in a separate graft case.

Khaleda has been receiving treatment at a prison cell of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Hospital since April 1 last year. The BNP staged a demonstration in front of its Nayapaltan headquarters in the capital on Friday demanding the release of Khaleda Zia.

BK

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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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