Khaleda’s Release: No tough programme right now | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 07, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 05:09 AM, December 07, 2019

Khaleda’s Release: No tough programme right now

BNP to wait till Thursday’s court hearing on her bail plea

The BNP may go for street agitation across the country for the release of its Chairperson Khaleda Zia if she is denied bail in a corruption case.  

It will hold peaceful programmes from tomorrow till the hearing on Khaleda’s bail appeal at the Supreme Court on Thursday, according to party sources.

The party will also ask the pro-BNP lawyers to stage demonstrations at courts all over the country with a slogan “we want justice” on the day of the SC hearing.

The decisions came at a meeting of senior BNP leaders at the party chief’s Gulshan office on December 5 night. Through Skype, acting BNP chairman Tarique Rahman joined the meeting convened to decide the party’s next course of action, a senior BNP leader told this newspaper yesterday.

Tarique told the meeting that the issue of Khaleda’s release has to be resolved politically, said the BNP leader on condition of anonymity.

The party leaders also discussed Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s statement that Khaleda is having a good time in hospital under the jail authorities’ supervision.

Several BNP leaders told this correspondent that the party will not go for any tough programmes right now. It will wait till Thursday’s court hearing. 

Some of them said they believe the party chief will get bail if the government does not “interfere”.

Contacted, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said, “She [Hasina] is influencing the court in her own way. Her statement just before the day of the hearing on [Khaleda’s] bail appeal greatly influenced the court and the medical board [of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University].”

He said they would continue the legal and political battles simultaneously for her release.

A joint meeting between the leaders of the party’s front and associate bodies will be held today at its Nayapaltan office to finalise the next course of action and fresh programmes.

“We will announce our next course of action tomorrow [today],” Fakhrul mentioned.

On December 5, pro-BNP lawyers created pandemonium at the SC during the hearing of Khaleda’s bail appeal in the Zia Charitable Trust corruption case, forcing the chief justice and five other judges to leave the courtroom.  

The lawyers shouted at the apex court judges, “shame, shame”, “we want justice”, “Khaleda Zia has the right to get bail”. 

Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain termed the incident “unprecedented”.

Khaleda filed the appeal with the SC on November 14, challenging the High Court order that rejected her bail petition in the graft case.

Dhaka Special Judge’s Court-5 on October 29 last year convicted her in the case and sentenced her to seven years’ imprisonment. The Anti-Corruption Commission had filed the case with Tejgaon Police Station on August 8, 2011.

The BNP chief landed in jail on February 8 last year after the same court awarded her five years’ imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case. The HC on October 30 enhanced her jail term to 10 years in the case, dismissing her appeal.

Khaleda was admitted to the BSMMU on April 1 following the recommendations of a medical board.

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