[QODLink]
Central & South Asia

Bangladesh court approves Zia 'fraud' trial

Khaleda Zia's lawyer said he would appeal in the Supreme Court, in a final attempt to stop the trial.

Last updated: 23 Apr 2014 15:57
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Zia was indicted just weeks after Hasina was re-elected in a January 5 general election [AFP]

A top Bangladesh court has ruled that opposition leader Khaleda Zia's trial over embezzlement charges should go ahead in a case that could see her jailed for life, a prosecutor has said.

The High Court rejected the former two-time premier's bid to quash the trial which had been scheduled to start in a lower court this week after she was indicted on charges of embezzling more than $650,000.

"Both her appeals have been rejected. There is no bar to continue her trial in the two cases," deputy attorney general Mohammad Selim told AFP news agency.

Zia's lawyers have called the charges politically motivated, aimed at destroying her Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), which has vowed to topple the government of arch rival Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

Zia was indicted just weeks after Hasina was re-elected in a January 5 general election which the centre-right BNP and its 18 opposition allies boycotted and denounced as a farce.

Police detained thousands of opposition officials and supporters and charged many more during and after the election, which was the bloodiest in the country's short history.

Zia's lawyer Sanaullah Miah said he would now lodge an appeal in the Supreme Court, in a final attempt to stop the trial from going ahead in a special anti-corruption court in Dhaka.

"It is now clear that the government wants to put Zia in jail. That's why we are not getting any justice in any court," he told AFP.

The trial had been scheduled to start on Monday but was adjourned until after the two-judge bench of the High Court had ruled on the appeal.

Selim said the prosecution has "strong cases" against Zia and there was little chance of the defence succeeding in getting the trial halted.

290

Source:
AFP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.