Dhaka – The verdict in yet another graft case against former Bangladeshi prime minister Khaleda Zia will be pronounced on October 29, court officials said on Tuesday.
A special court in Dhaka fixed the date after rejecting a petition filed by defence lawyers to adjourn the hearing as they plan to challenge the way for holding the trial in absence of the prime accused of the Zia Charitable Trust corruption case.
Khaleda, who has been in jail since she was convicted in another graft case in February this year, and three others have been charged for embezzling money from Zia Charitable Trust, a charity named after her slain husband Ziaur Rahman.
Khaleda’s lawyers said they will challenge the lower court’s decision of holding the trial in her absence. Judge Md Akhtaruzzaman of the Special Court-5 in Dhaka decided after hearing that there was no bar in holding the trial as Khaleda opted for not turning up to the court.
The court on Tuesday also extended bail to Khaleda in the Zia Charitable Trust case October 29 as her lawyers moved a bail petition, Sanaullah Mia, defence council, told reporters.
Bangladesh’s Anti-Corruption Commission filed the Zia Charitable Trust graft case against Khaleda and three others in 2011 with Tejgaon police station. The commission charged them for raising funds from unknown sources abusing the authority when Khaleda was Prime Minister of the country.
Harris Chowdhury, political secretary to the then premier Khaleda, Ziaul Islam Munna, assistant private secretary to Harris, and Monirul Islam Khan, personal staff of the former Dhaka City Mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka were the other accused in the case.
Khaleda was awarded with five years of jail Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case in February.