BNP chief Khaleda Zia’s lawyers pleaded to court to punish prosecution witnesses in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case, accusing them of forging documents and perjury.
The defence continued its argument for the eighth day on Wednesday, when lawyer AJ Mohammad Ali filed a petition with the Court of Dhaka Special Judge-5.
The petition levelled the accusations against six witnesses produced by the prosecution.
They are investigation officer Harun-Ur-Rashid, former accounts officers of the PMO—Majed Ali and Abdul Barek and Syed Zaglul Pasha, an aide to the former principal secretary to PM, former social welfare deputy secretary Mostafa Kamal Mazumder and former Board of Investment director Tauhidur Rahman Khan.
The Anti-Corruption Commission filed the graft case in 2008, accusing Khaleda, her son Tarique Rahman and four others of embezzling Tk 21 million.
After arguing for Khaleda on Wednesday, the lawyers submitted a petition seeking punishment for the six under the Penal Code.
Judge Akhteruzzaman, who heard a rebuttal in the case for the eighth day, expressed anger as Khaleda reached the special court set up at Dhaka’s Bakshibazar around 12pm, an hour behind schedule.
“This is a court. It is not acceptable that you arrive this late. From now on, I will start the hearings sharp at 10am and end at 4pm,” he said.
To this, Khaleda’s lawyer Barrister Mahbubuddin Khokon said: “We have seen the martial law court, the chief justice’s court. The judges there do not speak like this. The age and the physical condition of the defendant should be taken into consideration.”
Barrister Jamiruddin Sircar argued after Mohammad Ali finished his argument. He was the fourth lawyer to have argued for the BNP chief that day. Sircar will resume his argument on Thursday, reports bdnews24.