Khaleda claims innocence, bursts into tears in courtroom

She gives deposition for 2nd day in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case


Published: October 26, 2017 22:56:36 | Updated: October 27, 2017 13:18:43


An emotional BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia on Thursday claimed herself innocent in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.

She also termed it a 'fake' one as, what she said, the case was filed against her with a 'political motive'.
"All the cases filed against me are fake ones. What crime did I commit for which I have to appear before the court repeatedly? I want to restore democratic governing system and people's rights, and establish peace instead of conflict. Is it my offence for which I'm facing so much harassment and so many cases," bemoaned Khaleda.
A UNB report said the BNP chief made the remarks and burst into tears in the courtroom while giving her self-defence statement in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case before the makeshift court of Special Judge-5 at Bakshibazar for the second day.
In her over an hour-written speech, the BNP chief also alleged that many warrants have been issued for her arrest one after another in recent years in 'false' cases filed against her.
"I was evicted from the house with which I had four decades of memories. The current government has confined me to my Gulshan residence keeping me isolated from people. ..During my confinement, I received the death news of one of my sons who had been undergoing treatment aboard," Khaleda said with tears rolling down her cheeks.
Mentioning that there were many cases against Awami League President and current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on various charges, including corruption, abuse of power, extortion and irregularities, she said, "But she (Hasina) is lucky enough that she does not have to appear before court like me."
Khaleda said she has been trying to appear before court at this advanced age amid her busyness and various problems as she has respect for the law, court and the judiciary.
Earlier on Octover19, Khaleda started placing her self-defence statement in the case.
Dhaka Special Judge Court-5 Judge Md Aktaruzzaman recorded her statement and fixed November 2 the new date for hearing on the case.
The court also asked the BNP chief to conclude her statement on that day.
On July 3, 2008, the Anti-Corruption Commission filed the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case with Ramna Police Station accusing Khaleda Zia, her eldest son Tarique Rahman, and four others for misappropriating over Tk 21.0 million that came as grants from a foreign bank for orphans.
On August 8, 2011, the commission filed the Zia Charitable Trust graft case with Tejgaon Police Station accusing four people, including Khaleda Zia, of abuse of power in raising funds for the trust from unknown sources.

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