Update March 4, 2015

Dhaka 1-40 pm, 25-May, 2020

Khaleda Zia won’t be appearing before court today

Sumel Sarker

High court

Lawyer for Khaleda Zia Sanaullah Mia said, BNP Chairperson who is facing arrest warrant in two graft cases, would not appear before the court today.

04 March 2015, Nirapad News: Lawyer for Khaleda Zia Sanaullah Mia said,  BNP Chairperson  who is facing arrest warrant in two graft cases, would not appear before the court today.

While talking to private TV channel, the lawyer said: “Khaleda Zia will not surrender before court today to seek bail in two graft cases.” The lawyer also said Khaleda Zia has decided not to leave her Gulshan office due to security reasons.

Leader of the main political opposition, Khaleda earlier skipped court hearings several times, citing lack of security when activists of her own alliance enforced countrywide shutdowns or blockades. Speculations have been rife that the BNP chief might be arrested anytime since the court issued arrest warrants against her.

The warrant, however, did not find its way to the Gulshan police station as of Tuesday.

State Minister for Home Affairs Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told reporters yesterday that the police were yet to receive the warrant.

Another court in the meantime has issued a search warrant for Khaleda’s office in Gulshan, where she has been living since January 3. The police said in a petition that the Gulshan office houses explosives and a secret device with which she coordinates countrywide violence and subversive activities.

Having boycotted the last elections, BNP, then the main opposition, and its political alliance of 20 parties were thrown out of parliament. They are now waging a violent movement of blockades and general strikes calling for new elections.

Khandaker Mahbub, an adviser to Khaleda and a senior lawyer, told newsmen Tuesday: “The arrest warrant is yet to reach the police. Still, if she must surrender before the court, she will do so.”

Also president of the Supreme Court Bar Association, Mahbub said: “Khaleda Zia is feeling insecure.”

He said the three-time premier apprehended that she might not be allowed to return to her office once she gets out. “That would detach her from the people.”

Khaleda would still attend the hearing out of respect for the court, given there is adequate security. “But the government has to ensure that nothing will happen to her and she will be allowed to return to her office.”

The authorities initially prevented Khaleda Zia from leaving her office to join a protest rally on January 5 marking the one-year anniversary of the “one-sided election.”

The ruling Awami League swept those polls, essentially unopposed. Subsequently, it became apparent that the authorities would rather have Khaleda leave her office as the power supply was cut, although temporarily, and phone lines were jammed. Khaleda Zia’s lawyers Tuesday filed a petition to withdraw the arrest warrant.

The court is also due to give an order on that petition Wednesday.

Judge Abu Ahmed Jamadar of the Special Judge’s Court 3 of Dhaka, who had issued the arrest warrant, ordered that hearing on the petitions in the two corruption cases be held Wednesday.

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