A Dhaka court yesterday issued an order that BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia must appear before the court on June 2, the next scheduled date for placing her self-defence statements.
Granting time for the fifth date, Judge Abu Ahmed Jomadar of the Special Judge Court-3 made the comment after her lawyer Sanaullah Miah submitted a petition seeking adjournment of the hearing on grounds that she cannot appear before it due to physical illness.
According to her lawyer, Khaleda could not submit her self defence statements against statements of 32 prosecution witnesses given during the trial due to illness.
The court ordered her lawyers to ensure that she appears before the court on the next scheduled date, Sanaullah told The Daily Star.
On April 17, Khaleda appeared before the court but sought time to submit her self defence statements. She was absent from the court on two executive dates.
On April 7, the High Court cleared the way for a lower court to continue the trial proceedings against Khaleda in the case after rejecting her petition seeking cancellation of the proceedings.
On March 9, Khaleda challenged the legality of appointment of Harunur Rashid, investigating officer of the case, saying that the Anti-Corruption Commission had not published any gazette notice regarding this.
The ACC on August 8, 2011 filed the graft case accusing Khaleda and three others of abuse of power in setting up the charity.
The other accused are Harris Chowdhury, Khaleda's former political secretary, Ziaul Islam Munna, assistant private secretary (APS) of Harris, and Monirul Islam Khan, APS of former mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka.
Of them, Harris is on the run.