Begum Khaleda Zia and three others including Harris Chowdhury, former political secretary to the then PM Khaleda were sentenced to seven years’ rigorous imprisonment in Zia Charitable Trust corruption case. Judge Md Akhtaruzzaman of the Special Court-5 pronounced the verdict in absence of Khaleda, now undergoing treatment at Bangbandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University under a special medical board formed by the government, local media reports said.
A Dhaka special court on Monday (Oct 29) sentenced Bangladesh Nationalist Party Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia and three others to 7-year jail each, in much-hyped Zia Charitable Trust graft case.
Moreover, all the four convicts have been fined Tk 10 lakh each. They have to serve more 6-month in jail each, in case of defying the fine.
Three other convicts are — Khaleda’s former political affairs secretary Harris Chowdhury, his former aide and former BIWTA acting director Ziaul Islam Munna, and former Dhaka city corporation mayor Sadeque Hossain Khoka’s personal secretary Monirul Islam Khan. Judge Md Akhtaruzzaman of Dhaka Special Judge Court-5 passed the order at noon.
Khaleda, who is now behind the bar in another graft case, didn’t appear before the court during the judgment.
Earlier in the morning, the appellate division of the Supreme Court cleared way for the lower court to continue the trial in Zia Charitable Trust Corruption case in Khaleda’s absence.
The appellate division rejected a petition of her challenging a High Court verdict that ordered to continue the trial in her absence. A seven-member bench headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain passed the order.
The Anti-Corruption Commission filed the graft case against Khaleda and three others with Tejgaon Police Station in August, 2010 for embezzling Tk 3.15 crore from Zia Charitable Trust.
On Feb 8, a Dhaka court sentenced Khaleda to five years imprisonment in Zia Orphanage Trust case. She was sent to Dhaka central jail following the verdict. Since then, she has been in jail.