Opposition can exist outside JS, says Khaleda
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia on Sunday said the opposition can stay out of parliament.
The three times former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia made the comment in a temporarily set up court inside Old Dhaka Central Jail during a hearing on the Niko graft case. Accused in the case Barrister Moudud Ahmed on Sunday said to the court, "We are in danger as we are in the opposition."
In the meantime another defense lawyer said BNP is not in the parliament as opposition party. Following the defense lawyer's comment BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia reacted. Earlier Khaleda Zia was brought to the court premises in a wheelchair during the hearing. After Moudud's plea, Judge Sheikh Hafizur Rahman of Special Judge Court-9 fixed January 21 for the next hearing on charge framing.
The other accused in the graft case are former minister Moudud Ahmed, former state minister AKM Mosharraf Hossain, former chief secretary Kamal Uddin Siddiqui, former secretary Khandaker Shahidul Islam, former senior assistant secretary Syed Yousuf Hossain, former BAPEX general manager Mir Moinul Haque, former secretary of BAPEX Shafiur Rahman, businessman Gias Uddin Al Mamun, former Dhaka University president Salim Bhuiyan and vice president of Niko South Asia Kashem Sharif. The ACC on December 9, 2007 filed the Niko graft case against Khaleda and four others in connection with a Tk 137.77 loss to the national exchequer caused by the signing of an oil-gas exploration agreement with Canadian company Niko during BNP regime.
October 29, Khaleda was convicted and sentenced to seven years' rigorous imprisonment by a special court in Dhaka in Zia Charitable Trust corruption case. Khaleda landed in jail being sentenced to five years' imprisonment in Zia Orphanage Trust case by the same court on February 8.
The High Court later extended her jail terms in the case to 10 years. Khaleda Zia was in the erstwhile Dhaka Central Jail at Nazimuddin Road since she was sentenced to five years' imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case on February 8 last.