Khaleda graft cases deferred till Jan 7
Alleged activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League attacked workers of BNP and its front organisations at Bakshibazar triggering clashes when BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia was on way to a Dhaka court to attend graft cases hearing. The BNP chief was inside a makeshift court at Bakshibazar to attend the hearing of Zia Orphanage and Zia Charitable Trust graft cases when BNP men clashed with police and activists of ruling Awami League’s student organisation BCL. The court adjourned the hearing in the cases till January 7 in response to adjournment prayers moved by Khaleda’s lawyers on the ground that they were not prepared enough for the hearing. Around 12:10pm, the BCL men attacked the activists of BNP and its associate organisation, who gathered in front of Fazle Rabbi Hall of Dhaka Medical College and Hospital at Bakshibazar, triggering a clash. Later, the clash spread to Bakshibazar and its adjoining area. Meantime, Khaleda around 12:25pm reached Bakshibazar court where around 10,000 supporters were waiting to welcome Khaleda. As the BNP chief entered the court building, the agitating BNP activists swooped on the law enforcers, forcing them to fired teargas shells, charged batons and used water canon to disperse them. The clash left at least five people injured, our correspondent reported from the spot. BNP men torch a private car near Dhaka Medical College and Hospital after they clash with police at Bakshibazar in Dhaka Wednesday. The situation was brought under control after Khaleda left the court premises around 1:15pm after the newly appointed Judge of Special Judge Court-3 Abu Ahmed Jamadar adjourned the hearing order following separate adjournment prayers submitted by Khaleda’s lawyers saying that they are not well prepared for the hearing.Meanwhile, the activists of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, the student wing of BNP, also torched the microbus of Chhabi Biswas, ruling Awami League lawmaker from Netrakona-1 constituency in front of Dhaka Medical College during the clash, witnesses said. Biswas, who suffered head injuries during the attack, was receiving treatment at the emergency unit of theDhaka Medical College and Hospital.Earlier on December 18, the government transferred Judge Bashudev Roy, who had been dealing with two corruption cases against Khaleda and eight others, midway through the trial following Khaleda’s repeated request to the High Court expressing no confidence to him. The government however said the move was done under “routine framework.”Judge Jomadar, a district judge and joint secretary to the law ministry, replaced Roy on December 22.The court headed by Roy framed charges against Khaleda, her son and BNP Senior Vice-chairman Tarique Rahman and seven others in the two graft cases on March 19.She filed two writ petitions with the HC, challenging the legality of the appointment of Bashudev to the Special Judge Court-3 of Dhaka. The HC rejected her petitions and the Appellate Division upheld the HC orders.Khaleda then sought transfer of the cases to another judge’s court.Judge Bashudev on December 17 recorded depositions in the corruption cases filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission, and fixed today (December 24) for further recording.The anti-graft body filed the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case in 2009 against seven people in connection with embezzlement of over Tk 2.1 crore. The other case was filed in 2011 accusing Khaleda and three others of abusing power in setting up the charitable trust.
AGENCY, THE DAILY STAR