DHAKA: The High Court has released its full verdict that sentenced BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia to 10-year jail term in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.
The authorities concerned on Monday (Jan 28) released the full text of the verdict on the website of Bangladesh Supreme Court.
On October 30, 2018, the High Court doubled Khaleda's imprisonment terms from five years that handed down by a trial court in the case.
The HC also rejected the appeals by Khaleda and five other accused seeking acquittal from the lower court’s verdict that sentenced the BNP chief to five years jail term and 10 years to other five accused in the case.
Three out of the six accused, including Khaleda Zia, have been serving jail terms but rest of them are on the run.
Two others are Kazi Salimul Haque, a former BNP lawmaker from Magura and businessman Sharfuddin Ahmed.
BNP Senior Vice Chairman Tarique Rahman, his cousin Mominur Rahman and former principal secretary Kamal Uddin Siddique are on the run.
An HC bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Md Mostafizur Rahman pronounced the verdict, declaring an ACC rule ‘appropriate’ that sought increase in the punishment.
Earlier on February 8 in 2018, a Dhaka court sentenced Khaleda Zia to five years of rigorous imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.
Later Khaleda’s lawyers filed an appeal against the verdict with the High Court seeking bail for her. On March 12, the HC granted four months bail to Khaleda Zia. The bail afterwards was extended more.
The government and ACC filed an appeal against the HC bail order with the Supreme Court. On May 16, the SC upheld the bail order and asked HC to hear and dispose of her appeals in the case by July 31.
Later, Khaleda Zia’s lawyers filed a petition with SC seeking a review of its order. On Thursday (July 5), the chamber court of the appellate division fixed July 9 for a full bench hearing of the review petition.
Of the six convicts of Zia Orphanage Trust graft case, 3 convicts including Khaleda Zia are in jail while three others are absconding.
Khaleda Zia’s elder son and BNP vice chairman Tarique Rahman and four others were given 10 years imprisonment in the same case. The court fined them Tk. 2.10 crore each.
In July 2008, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed the case accusing Khaleda Zia, her son BNP's senior vice chairman Tarique Rahman and four others for misappropriating over Tk 2.10 crore grant money for orphans.
BDST: 1552 HRS, JAN 28, 2019