Dhaka, Bangladesh
HC begins hearing on Khaleda's plea

Conviction quashment

HC begins hearing on Khaleda's plea

Bail extends until July 19

News Desk The High Court began Thursday hearing on Khaleda Zia's petition for quashing her conviction in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case, shortly after an apex-court directive. Adjourning the hearings after the day's proceedings, the HC also extended her bail until July 19th. An HC bench comprising Justice M. Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman took up the hearing and passed the orders following a petition filed by the counsel of the jailed BNP chairperson and former prime minister. The HC started hearing on the review petition around 11am following the Supreme Court's orders. At the outset, Khaleda's lawyer Abdur Rezak Khan read out from the FIR enclosed with the paper book while AJ Mohammad Ali read out the charge before the court. Barrister Moudud Ahmed said, "The bail for Khaleda Zia in the case expired today (Thursday) and the lawyer submitted a petition before the court seeking extension of the bail pending the hearings." Earlier on July 5th, a petition was filed with the High Court for extension of its earlier order granting four-month interim bail to Khaleda Zia in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case till July 12th. On February 8th, the Dhaka Special Court-5 convicted the former Prime Minister and BNP chairperson and sentenced her to five years' imprisonment in the graft case. She was then sent to the old central jail in the city's Nazimuddin Road. The HC took up the hearing shortly after the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court directed it to start the hearing on Khaleda's review petition seeking the quashing of her conviction by the trial court.A four-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain passed the order keeping the petition as "stand-over" till July 31. It also made an observation that if the hearing of the petition could not be finished by then, the apex court will consider it. On July 9th, the Supreme Court fixed July 12th for passing order on the review petition filed by the BNP Chairperson against its order asking the High Court to dispose of her appeal in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case. Earlier on May 16th, the SC had upheld the High Court order that had granted bail to the convicted former premier. At the time the SC also issued an order for disposal of Khaleda's appeal challenging the lower court's verdict in the case by July 31. Later, Khaleda's counsel filed a petition on June 25 seeking review of the order following which the apex court gave the HC Thursday's directive. (Inputs taken from agencies, media)

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