SC upholds Khaleda’s bail in graft case

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 DHAKA, May 16, 2018 (BSS) – The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court (SC) today upheld a High Court order that granted bail to BNP chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia in a graft case and rejected two appeals against that order.

“Both the appeals are dismissed,” said a four-member Appellate Division bench headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain, rejecting the appeals filed by the state and the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) against the High Court order.

The apex court also directed a High Court division bench headed by Justice M Enayetur Rahim to dispose of an appeal, by July 31, filed by the BNP chief, challenging her conviction by a lower court in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.

Yesterday the Appellate Division set today to pass its judgment in the appeal case, as it heard the arguments of Attorney General Mahbubey Alam again.

Earlier on May 8 and 9, the chief state counsel, ACC counsel Khurshid Alam Khan, defence counsels AJ Mohammad Ali, advocate Joynul Abedin and Khandaker Mahbub Hossain placed their arguments for their respective cases.

The High Court on March 12 granted four-month bail to BNP chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case, in which the former prime minister has been sentenced to five-year imprisonment.

But on March 19, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court stayed till May 8 the High Court order, granting two leave to appeal petitions filed by the ACC and the state against the bail.

The Appellate Division also asked the state, ACC and the defence to submit the concise statements on their respective appeals in the case within two weeks and set May 8 for holding hearing in the matter.

Earlier on February 22, the High Court asked Dhaka Special Judge Court-5, which convicted Khaleda Zia in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case, to send the case documents within 15 days.

Dhaka Special Judge Court-5 on February 8 convicted Khaleda Zia and five others in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case. It also sentenced other five accused, including Khaleda’s elder son and BNP Acting Chairman Tarique Rahman, to 10-year imprisonment each.

The other accused are former lawmaker Kazi Salimul Haque Kamal, businessman Sharfuddin Ahmed, Dr Kamal Uddin Siddiqui, and Khaleda’s nephew Mominur Rahman.

The court also fined the convicts Taka 2.10 crore for their role in the scam.

Meanwhile, Khaleda’s counsel and former law minister Barrister Maudud Ahmed said as his client is yet to secure bail in some more cases filed against her, she will not be able to come out of jail right now.

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