Zia Charitable Trust corruption case

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The Zia Charitable Trust corruption case refers an ongoing corruption case in Bangladesh that relates to corruption over the misuse of funds in a charity named after former President Ziaur Rahman. Khaleda Zia, former Prime Minister of Bangladesh is one of the accused in the case.[1][2]

Background[edit]

The trust was named after the husband of Khaleda Zia, former President, Ziaur Rahman. President Zia was assassinated in 1981.[3] The former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia has a "bitter" rivalry with the incumbent Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.[4]

The Cases[edit]

Bangladesh Anti Corruption Commission filled the Zia Charitable Trust corruption case in Tejgaon Police Station on 8 August 2011.[5] The case accused four people including former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia. The other accused are Harris Chowdhury, former political secretary to Khaleda Zia, Ziaul Islam Munna, incumbent acting director of naval security and traffic in Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority, and the personal assistant to former mayor of Dhaka, Sadeque Hossain Khoka, Monirul Islam Khan.[6] The Anti Corruption commission filed another related case on 3 July 2008 over corruption in the Zia Orphanage.[7] There was six accused in this case including Former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique Rahman. The case accused them embezzling 21 million taka from the trust.[8]

On 24 February 2015 an arrest warrant was issued by the court against Khaleda Zia in the case.[3] The arrest warrant was issued after she skipped a number of court dates. She surrenderd to the court and received bail on 5 April 2015. The prosecution did not oppose her bail petition.[9] The Anti corruption commission took the charges to court on 16 January 2012.[10] Khaleda Zia has filled a petition with the High Court to halt the proceedings of the Zia trust and orphanage case.[11] Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique Rahman are on bail in the case. Tarique has been staying in London since 2008.[12]

After 10 years of ongoing trial In 8 February 2018 Khaleda Zia and Tarique Rahman as per court verdict, were jailed for 5 and 10 years respectively due to involvement in the Zia Charitable Trust corruption case. While Tarique was on exile, Khaleda would be imprisoned on old Dhaka Central Jail on Nazimuddin Road. In protest BNP held nationwide demonstrations, which were foiled by well prepared police force across the nation. A large number of BNP activists were arrested during clashes with the police.[13] The verdict also jailed Quazi Salimul Haq Kamal, Kamal Uddin Siddique, Mominur Rahman, and Sharfuddin Ahmed.[14]

On 29 October 2018 BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and three others including Harris Chowdhury, former political secretary to the then PM Khaleda as per supreme court verdict were sentenced to seven years’ rigorous imprisonment in Zia Charitable Trust corruption case. Khaleda and the other convicts were also fined Tk 10 lakh each, in default of which they will have to serve six more months in jail, according to the verdict. This is the highest punishment under the existing law. The court also ordered to attach in favour of the state the 42 kathas of land which was purchased under the name of the trust.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Khaleda's hearing deferred to 26 Jan". Prothom Alo. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  2. ^ "Court fixes Nov 24 to hear Khaleda's statement in Charitable Trust graft case". bdnews24.com. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Chaos Deepens in Bangladesh as Arrest Warrant Is Issued for Ex-Prime Minister". VICE News. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  4. ^ "Bangladesh opposition's Khaleda Zia to stand trial over corruption charges". The Guardian. Agence France-Presse. 19 March 2014. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  5. ^ "Former Bangladesh PM Khaleda Zia in court over two graft cases". India Live Today. 12 January 2017. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  6. ^ "Khaleda loses review appeal in HC to halt Zia Charitable Trust graft case proceedings". bdnews24.com. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  7. ^ "Zia Charitable Trust: HC rejects stay plea of Khaleda". The Daily Star. 13 January 2017. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  8. ^ "Bangladesh court adjourns Zia's graft case hearing till Jan 12". Zee News. 5 January 2017. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  9. ^ "Khaleda Zia surrenders in court, gets bail in graft cases". bdnews24.com. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  10. ^ "Bangladesh: Former PM Khaleda Zia appears before court in graft cases". The Indian Express. 12 January 2017. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  11. ^ "Zia Charitable Trust graft case: HC rejects stay plea of former B'desh PM". indialivetoday.com. India Live Today. 13 January 2017. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  12. ^ "Graft case: Khaleda, Tarique asked to appear before court". The Daily Star. 29 December 2016. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
  13. ^ "Khaleda lands in jail for corruption". The Daily Star. 2018-02-08. Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  14. ^ "Former Bangladesh PM Khaleda Zia found guilty in graft case". Retrieved 2018-02-08.
  15. ^ "Khaleda, 3 others get 7yrs' jail in Zia Charitable Trust graft case". Retrieved 2018-10-29.