Update March 3, 2015

Dhaka 10-27 pm, 28-May, 2020

Khaleda to appear before court tomorrow

Sumel Sarker

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia

03 March 2015, Nirapad News: BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia is unlikely to appear in court tomorrow in the Zia Orphanage Trust and Zia Charitable Trust cases, even though the court issued an arrest warrant against her for earlier skipping a deposition hearing.

“As there is a security concern, she might not appear before the court,” Khaleda’s lawyer, Sanaullah Miah, told yesterday.

A Dhaka court on February 25 issued an arrest warrant against Khaleda in two graft cases, cancelling the time petition filed by her lawyer.

Khaleda last attended trial proceedings on December 24, the day clashes broke out between police, supporters of the BNP and supporters of the ruling Awami League in the Bakshibazar area of the capital.

“How can she [Khaleda] appear before the court? There was not enough security for her in the court area last time. She came under attack there. Even her lawyers were obstructed from talking to her. What scope is there for her to appear before the court?” Sanaullah said.

A Dhaka court earlier issued a search warrant for Khaleda Zia’s Gulshan office, where she has been residing since January 3, to search it for explosives and a communication device that police claim Khaleda is using to coordinate the countrywide sabotage.

Police sources said they had not yet received a copy of the warrant. Sources at the political leader’s Gulshan office said messages were sent out to the party’s district units to continue with the movement even if Khaleda is arrested.

They said Khaleda is determined to continue the alliance’s transport blockade and strikes until the government holds fresh polls under a non-party interim administration.

Party leaders are worried that if Khaleda goes to the court, she might secure bail but she will not likely be able to return to her office and will be sent to her house instead. That would mean the leader’s Gulshan office would likely be put under lock and key like the party’s Nayapaltan headquarters.

The 69-year-old three-time former prime minister asked her 20-party alliance’s leaders and activists to form Protirodh Sangram Committees [Resistance and Struggle Committees] across the country to stop “state-sponsored criminal activities.”

BNP Joint Secretary General Salahuddin Ahmed, in a press release yesterday, said: “The stepping down of the illegal looter government is a must in the face of the people’s spontaneous resistance.”

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