Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal yesterday categorically said BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia landed in jail following the verdict in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case and she was not shown arrested in any other cases.
"Confusion is being created over the matter,” he said while talking to reporters at his Secretariat office.
On Tuesday, several media outlets ran reports claiming that Khaleda had been shown arrested in several cases.
"There are production warrants against Khaleda Zia in the Barapukuria Coal Mine graft case and the Gatco corruption case. But she is on bail in both the cases. There is no need to show her arrested in them, if she appears before the court regularly," Kamal said.
If the court considered summoning her, the matter would not be linked to the government, he said.
The next hearings in Barapukuria coal mine case would be held on February 18 and the Gatco case on March 4, the home boss said, adding whether Khaleda would have to appear before the court in connection with the cases would depend on the court and the jail authorities.
Responding to a query, Kamal said Khaleda was given all the facilities in prison as per the jail code, taking into consideration her social status as the chairperson of a major political party like the BNP and also as a former prime minister.
"She has been kept at the old Dhaka central jail because of her health conditions as the Kashimpur jail is far away from Dhaka. There is also no female ward in the central jail in Keraniganj," he said.
Yesterday noon, four lawyers, on behalf of Khaleda, submitted three Vokalatnamas to the authorities of the old Dhaka central jail on Nazimuddin Road.
A top official from the prisons directorate confirmed the matter, saying that they would need Khaleda's signature on the papers.
“Once she signed the Vokalatnamas, we will send them back to the lawyers,” the official said.
On February 8, a Dhaka court sentenced Khaleda to five year imprisonment and five others, including her elder son Tarique Rahman, to 10-year imprisonment each in the Zia Orphanage Trust Corruption case.
MP DEMANDS TOUGHER PUNISHMENT
The entire jail was given to BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and she was kept in a comfortable environment there, Awami League lawmaker Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim told parliament yesterday.
Speaking on the thanksgiving motion on the president's speech, Selim, also AL presidium member, said Khaleda should be kept in a “condemned cell” of the jail as she embezzled money from the orphanage fund.
Pointing to BNP's allegation that Khaleda was not given division and other due facilities in jail, Selim asked whether Khaleda be kept in a five star hotel like Sonargaon.
Referring to the August 21 grenade attack on an AL rally, Selim said Khaleda should be tried in the case as accused number 1.
He also demanded that the government file a case against the BNP chief on charges of crimes against humanity as she “killed people with petrol bombs” during the anti-government movement in early 2015.
Rejecting any possibility of holding dialogue with the BNP, Selim said there cannot be any discussion with those who killed people in the name of anti-government movement.
The ruling party MP also called upon the UK government to hand over BNP senior vice-chairman (presently acting chairman of BNP) “for the attack on the Bangladesh High Commission in London”.
He also demanded taking action against Tarique in this regard.
Selim raised the question to the UK government of how criminals had entered Bangladesh High Commission.
“What actions have you taken [after the attack on the Bangladesh High Commission]? We would take immediate action if any such incident had taken place in your high commission here,” Selim said.