Arrest warrants have been issued against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia in two separate cases filed against her in connection with Zia Orphanage Trust corruption and over undermining the country's map and national flag.
Zia Orphanage Trust graft case
On completion of recording of self-defense statements, Judge Akhteruzzaman of the Special Judge Court-5 set up at a makeshift court in Bakshi Bazar passed the order, Advocate Ziauddin Zia, a lawyer for Khaleda Zia, confirmed it to The Daily Star.
The court also fixed October 19 for hearing on arguments in the case.
Earlier, the court recorded the statements of 32 prosecution witnesses including complainant and investigation officer of the case.
Khaleda Zia is skipping the hearing in the case since July 15 while another accused BNP senior Vice Chairman Tarique Rahman has been shown fugitive in the case.
The Anti-Corruption Commission filed the case on July 3, 2008, with Ramna Police Station accusing Khaleda, her elder son Tarique and four others for misappropriating over Tk 2.10 crore that was received as grants for orphans via a foreign bank.
Case for 'undermining country flag'
Earlier in the day, Metropolitan Magistrate Nur Nabi issued arrest warrant against her as she failed to appear before the court even though the court asked her repeatedly to attend today’s hearing in the case.
Two accused, Saleemul Huq Kamal and Sharfuddin Ahmed who were on ad-interim bail were sent to jail after canceling their bail.
The court also directed the officer-in-charge of Gulshan Police Station to submit a report by November 12 on execution of the arrest warrant.
After AB Siddique, president of Bangladesh Jananetri Parishad, a pro-Awami League organisation, submitted a petition seeking an arrest warrant for Khaleda on September 17, the same court warned Khaleda of arrest warrant if she fails to appear before it today.
Siddique on November 3 last year filed the case with the court, accusing Khaleda and her late husband and former president Ziaur Rahman of undermining the country's map and national flag.
According to the case statement, Zia had taken over as the country's president after the killing of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman along with most of his family members on August 15, 1975. He also threatened Hasina and confined her after she arrived in the country from abroad on May 17, 1981.
Khaleda had formed a coalition government with Jamaat-e-Islami in 2001. She appointed ministers from the party and handed over the map and the national flag of independent Bangladesh to them even though they fought against the country during the Liberation War, the statement read.
Those activities were tantamount to undermining the country's map and national flag, it added.