BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia secured bail in five cases including a sedition case after she surrendered before five separate courts in Dhaka today.
The four other cases in which she secured bail are: Jatrabari arson attack and killing case, Gatco graft case and a case filed over a crude bomb attack on a procession led by Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan.
Khaleda was also exempted from personal appearance in the cases filed over Jatrabari arson attack and the crude bomb attack of AL leader’s procession cases.
READ more: Khaleda sued for sedition
Judge Md Jakir Hossain Tipu of the Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court granted bail to Khaleda in the sedition case filed by a Supreme Court lawyer for her derogatory remarks on the number of Liberation War martyrs.
Khaleda secured bail in connection with a case filed for killing a passenger in an arson attack on a passenger bus in Jatrabari on January 23 last year. Judge Asaduzzaman Nur of Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court delivered the order.
Earlier around 10:45am, the BNP chief surrendered before Judge Kamrul Hossain Mollah of the Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court and secured bail in a case filed for a subversive activity through a petrol bomb attack on the passenger bus in Jatrabari.
Later, Judge Abu Ahmed Jomadar of Special Judge Court-3 granted Khaleda bail in a corruption case.
Khaleda also secured bail in from Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Kaisarul Islam in the case filed over the crude bomb attack on Shajahan Khan’s procession.
When a car carrying Khaleda entered the court premises around 10:30am today, hundreds of leaders and activists of BNP and its associate bodies welcomed her.
She was accompanied by Shamsur Rahman Shimul Biswas, Khaleda’s personal assistant, and several women leaders.
Around 9:20am, Khaleda started from her Gulshan residence to appear before the court, Sayrul Kabir Khan, media wing member of Khaleda, told The Daily Star.
Also READ: Khaleda will surrender to court, ask for bail tomorrow
On January 25, SC lawyer Momtaz Uddin Ahmad Mehedi filed the sedition case with approval from the home ministry.
In the case statement, he alleged that Khaleda at a programme on December 21 last year said, “There are controversies over exactly how many were martyred in the Liberation War. There are also many books and documents on the controversies”.
Momtaz appealed to the court to issue an arrest warrant for the BNP chief.
On that day, Metropolitan Magistrate Rashed Talukder ordered Khaleda to appear before it after recording the statement of Momtaz, a former secretary of the Supreme Court Bar Association.
The magistrate also said he took cognizance of the sedition charge.
JATRABARI ARSON ATTACK AND KILLING CASES
One person was killed and 30 others were injured in the attack, one of many bomb attacks that the country had witnessed during the BNP-led 20-party alliance's three months' blockade.
Also READ: 28 burnt in city bus arson
Detectives on May 19 last year pressed charges against Khaleda and the others, mostly her party men, for allegedly carrying out subversive activities through a petrol bomb attack on the passenger bus on January 23 last year.
Detectives on May 19, 2015, pressed charges against Khaleda and 37 others, mostly her party men, in case for a subversive activity through a petrol bomb attack on the passenger bus.
The attack -- one of many the country witnessed during the BNP-led three months' blockade -- killed one person and injured 30 others on the night of January 23.
READ more: Arrest warrant issued against Khaleda
On March 30, Judge Kamrul Hossain Mollah issued arrest warrants against Khaleda and 27 others in the arson attack case after accepting charges against 38 people.
The order came after the investigation officer showed Khaleda and 27 others fugitives and appealed to the court to issue arrest warrants against them. The court directed the officer-in-charge of Jatrabari Police Station to submit reports by April 27 on execution of arrest warrants.
GATCO GRAFT CASE
On February 23, the court ordered Khaleda to appear before it today after receiving copy of the High Court's February 15 verdict that had rejected two petitions filed by her challenging the legality of trial proceedings in the corruption case.
The HC had also ordered the BNP chief to surrender before the trial court within two months from the day of receipt of the verdict copy.
Also READ: Khaleda asked to appear in court on April 13
On September 2, 2007, the Anti-Corruption Commission lodged the case with Tejgaon Police Station against Khaleda, her youngest son Arafat Rahman Koko, Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Motiur Rahman Nizami and 10 others. The case was filed under the Emergency Powers Rules.
Of the accused, Koko, former BNP secretary general Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan and former finance minister M Saifur Rahman died.
According to the case statement, there was corruption in the awarding of a contract to Global Agro Trade (Pvt) Company Ltd (Gatco) for container management at inland depots in Dhaka and Chittagong. The graft allegedly cost the state exchequer over Tk 1,000 crore.
On July 15, 2008, the HC stayed the case proceedings against Khaleda and issued a rule upon the government and the ACC to explain why the case proceedings should not be quashed.
CASE OVER BOMB ATTACK ON SHAJAHAN KHAN’S PROCESSION
Labour leader Ismail Hossain Bachchu filed a case with Gulshan Police Station on February 17, 2015, accusing Khaleda and 13 other BNP leaders and activists for carrying out a crude bomb attack on a procession led by Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan on February 16 in Gulshan.
The procession was against the blockade and hartals being enforced by the BNP-led 20-party alliance.
The BNP chief was accused of masterminding the attack while Mohila Dal General Secretary Shirin Sultana, Khaleda's Press Secretary Maruf Kamal Khan, and BNP chief's Special Assistant Shamsur Rahman Shimul Biswas were among the accused.
A Dhaka court on March 1 issued a warrant allowing police to search Khaleda Zia's Gulshan office for communication devices allegedly being used for carrying out subversive activities across the country.
The warrant also authorises police to look for suspects in a case filed for carrying out a crude bomb attack on a procession led by Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan on February 16 in Gulshan.
In a petition before a metropolitan magistrate on that day, Sub-Inspector Sohel Rana of Gulshan Police station, also the investigation officer of the case, said 13 suspects, excluding Khaleda Zia, were hiding in the BNP chief's office.