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12 December, 2019 00:00 00 AM

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SC to hear Khaleda’s bail plea today

CCTV cameras installed in courtroom
Staff Reporter, Dhaka

The Supreme Court’s (SC’s) Appellate Division will today (Thursday) hear an appeal by BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia against a High Court (HC) order that had turned down her bail petition in a corruption case. The medical board of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU), formed for Khaleda’s treatment, has submitted the medical report before the SC in line with its previous directive, sources said.

On December 5, the apex court had directed the BSMMU authorities to submit the medical report of the BNP chief by December 11 without fail. The bail application of Khaleda Zia has been included in the Appellate Division’s cause list as item number 11.

A six-member Appellate Division bench, headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, will hear the bail plea on this morning. According to SC sources, the authorities concerned have made fool-proof security arrangements in and around the court premises to avoid any untoward incident ahead of the hearing. As part of the security measures, the SC administration has set up eight closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras in the Chief Justice’s courtroom of the Appellate Division.

SC registrar general Ali Akbar told reporters that they installed the CCTV cameras on Monday night and yesterday morning. The authorities took the decision to set up the CCTV cameras inside the Appellate Division following the incident of chaos in the courtroom on December 5. On that day, there was unprecedented chaos in the Chief Justice’s courtroom during the hearing of Khaleda Zia’s bail petition in the Zia Charitable Trust graft case.

The chaos ensued when a group of pro-BNP lawyers chanted slogans in the courtroom, demanding the unconditional release of the BNP chief. This forced six judges of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, to leave the courtroom. Owing to the chaos, the apex court was unable to take up any other case till the end of the proceedings of that day.

Senior lawyer Joynul Abedin, along with other pro-BNP lawyers, will appear on behalf of Khaleda. Attorney general Mahbubey Alam will represent the state, while advocate Khurshid Alam Khan may appear for the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) during today’s hearing.

On November 29, an apex court bench had sought Khaleda’s medical report to know her health condition while hearing her bail petition in the Zia Charitable Trust corruption case, in which she was imprisoned by a trial court. The bench had asked the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) authorities to submit Khaleda’s medical report in the court by December 5. But the BSMMU sought time on December 5 and then the apex court set December 12 for further hearing on the bail petition.

Khaleda had moved the top court on November 14, challenging an HC order that had turned down her bail petition in the Zia Charitable Trust corruption case.

On September 11, the HC bench of Justices Farid Ahmed and ASM Abdul Mobin had rejected Khaleda’s bail petition in the case in which she is serving a 10-year sentence. Her bail petitions were turned down twice before, on July 31 and September 3.

On August 8, 2011, the ACC lodged the Zia Charitable Trust case with Tejgaon police against four people, including Khaleda. They were accused of abusing power in raising funds for the trust from unknown sources. A special court jailed the BNP chief and three others for seven years in the corruption case on October 29 last year. Khaleda later moved the HC, which increased her sentence by three more years.

The BNP supremo has been in prison since February 8, 2018, after she was sentenced to jail for five years in a separate corruption case. On October 6, Khaleda was admitted to the BSMMU for better treatment in response to a court order.

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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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