Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson Khaleda Zia on Thursday told a special judge’s court in Dhaka that the investigation officer of Zia orphanage trust corruption case was angry with her party for being losing job from Anti-Corruption Commission in 2005 during her tenure 2001-2006, and got involved with the investigation with two days after he was reinstated in 2008.
‘The prosecution witness-1 Harun-or-Rashid, (also the complainant and investigation officer of the case), was angry with us for losing his job in 2005. So that they [ruling Awami League] picked him to use against us…’ the former prime minister said in her statement during her examination by the Dhaka Special Judge’s Court 5, set up at Bakhshibazar in Dhaka, in Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Orphanage Trust corruption case.
Harun-or-Rashid was the inquiry officer, the complainant and the investigation officer of the case as well as the Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Charitable Trust corruption case.
The former prime minister completed reading out her statement on the sixth day in the overcrowded courtroom guarded by police in and around.
The court is chaired by Akhtaruzzaman, who was also trying her in Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Charitable Trust case in the same facility.
In the Charitable Trust case, the judge on the day read out the allegation brought against Khaleda under the examination of an accused prescribed by the Section 342 of Code of Criminal Procedure and asked whether or not she would be pleading her guilty.
Khaleda dismissed the allegation brought against her and told the court that she would submit a statement and supporting documents.
Her lawyers sought a permanent bail for her, but the court allowed her only weekly bail and set November 30 to continue her proceedings in both the cases.
Earlier on the day, Khaleda termed Harun as an ‘interested witness’ and ‘obedient to the Awami League government’ and detailed the role of the investigation officer of Shaheed Ziaur Rahman Orphanage Trust case, on how he failed to conduct an ‘impartial investigation’.
She said that Harun was appointed an assistant to the then Bureau of Anti-Corruption in 1979 despite there was no such position in its organogram. Later, his post was created as an assistant inspector on September 11, 1985 and was promoted as an inspector in 1992.
During BNP-led four party alliance government, he was discharged from the service due to his disqualification when other employees of the then Bureau of Anti-Corruption was absorbed by the Anti-Corruption Commission in 2005.
He had moved to the High Court challenging the then government decision and lost against his writ petition with the High Court, she detailed.
She said he moved Appellate Division but he later withdrew his leave-to-appeal application on an ‘invisible instruction.’
Khaleda said he was directly was appointed as an assistant deputy director to the ACC and just two days after his appointment he was appointed to investigate the case against her.
‘Not only that, he was promoted as an assistant director during the period of submitting the charge against me and after submitting the charge sheet, he was promoted to a deputy director by 2012 as part of gift,’ Khaleda told the court.
‘Whatever the deposition he made against me was baseless, concocted and motivated,’ she added.
Khaleda said Harun submitted his inquiry report against her on June 25, 2008 just two weeks after another assistant director Nur Ahammad had submitted his completed report on June 11, 2008 where she was not named.
The former prime minister alleged that texts of the both of the reports — first submitted by Nur Ahammad on June 11 and later submitted by Harun on June 25 — were similar and only the difference was the second report included her name.
She said she had no personal link to the Zia Orphanage Trust but Harun-or-Rashid named her and deposited ‘false’ statement against her.
‘The witness had deposited false statement with motivation to defame the image of main and my party.’ She said based on the false statement her rivals were propagating against her.
On November 16, she was not afraid of 36 cases she was now facing and the cases were filed on ‘false and baseless’ allegations.
On July 3, 2008, the Anti-Corruption Commission filed the orphanage trust case with Ramna police station accusing Khaleda, her eldest son Tarique Rahman and four others of misappropriating over Tk 2.10 crore that came as grants from a foreign bank for orphans.
The commission filed the charitable trust case on August 8, 2011 with the Tejgaon police station accusing Khaleda and three others of abuse of power in raising funds for the trust from unknown sources.
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