Dhaka – Jailed former prime minister Khaleda Zia has refused to appear before a court set up by the government in Dhaka’s old jail building saying the court may punish her as much as it wants.
“There is no justice here, punish me as much as you want, …as long as you want,” Khaleda, also the head of opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, told the court as she was produced before it on Wednesday.
The BNP chief, who has been in prison since February after a special court sentenced her to five years in jail in a graft case, was taken to the makeshift court in another corruption case inside the jail.
The government in a notification set up the court inside the prison as 73-year old politician could not move outside over her illness and on security ground.
She was taken to the dock in a wheel chair amid tight security, according to reporters attended the proceedings of the Zia Charitable Trust corruption case.
No lawyer was present to defend the former prime minister at the new site of the special court. “I know this court will not deliver justice,” she told the court of judge Md Akhtaruzzaman who adjourned the proceedings until September 12.
Khaleda also complained about her ailment saying her left leg is swollen almost to the level of paralysis.
An apparently angry, Khaleda raised question over the government’s intention of hastily serving the notice for the trail in the jail only a day ahead.
She alleged that her lawyers were not allowed to defend her.
Bangladesh Anti-Corruption Commission filed the Zia Charitable Trust graft case against Khaleda and three others with Tejgaon Police Station in August, 2011.
The accused allegedly abused power and raised money for the trust from unknown sources, according to the case.
Harris Chowdhury, former political secretary to the then prime minster Khaleda Zia, Ziaul Islam Munna, assistant private secretary (APS) to Harris, and Monirul Islam Khan, an officer to former Dhaka City Mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka are the other accused in the case.