A Dhaka court today upheld the arrest warrants issued against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia in Zia Orphanage Trust and Zia Charitable graft cases,report news agencies. After refusing to entertain the petitions filed seeking withdrawal of Khaleda’s arrest warrants, Judge Abu Ahmed Jamadar of the special judge’s court-3 said the February 25 order on the BNP chief’s arrest will remain effective.
As per law, none can file such petition on behalf of any fugitive accused, Judge Jamadar said after hearing the petitions. The court also fixed April 5 for further hearing in the cases. It also allowed defence counsel Sanaullah Mia to represent another accused Tarique Rahman at the court in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case in his absence.
Sanaullah has been representing Tarique, the BNP vice chairman and elder son of Khaleda, as per court order as he is now in London. The court proceedings started around 11:20am in absence of Khaleda, who skipped the hearing on security ground despite the arrest warrants against her.
Earlier in the day, Sanaullah filed two fresh petitions before the court of Judge Jamadar seeking withdrawal of the arrest warrants issued against her in the two graft cases. The defence yesterday filed the same petitions with the Dhaka Judge’s Court, the main court room of Judge Jamadar. The petitions were filed again today as those were not filed in a proper way, Sanaullah said adding it must be submitted to the makeshift court at Bakshibazar Alia Madrasa, which is dealing with the two cases.
On February 25, the court ordered the arrest of Khaleda for skipping court hearing on four consecutive dates in the two graft cases. Police yesterday said they were yet to receive the orders. Gulshan police, however, received a court order to search Khaleda’s office for communication devices only hours after it was issued on Sunday. Police were yet to search her office till this afternoon.
When the special court on February 25 ordered Khaleda’s arrest, it also ordered Sanaullah to produce Tarique before the court today. Asked about this, Sanaullah said, “I could not contact him.”