BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir made the complaint after Khaleda was taken to a ‘small and dark room’ of the court.
A legal notice has been served upon the government challenging the shifting of the special court to jail that is trying Khaleda Zia.
Ruling Awami League’s general secretary Obaidul Quader, however, claimed that the makeshift court was set up in jail for the sake of convenience of appearance of Khaleda Zia.
At the courtroom, the BNP chief told the judge to ‘punish her as he likes’ for her absence but she was not in a position to appear for her illness.
In a report titled ‘Infamous Dhaka jail used for trial of Bangladesh ex-PM Zia’ news agency AFP said the government of Bangladesh on Wednesday turned a notorious jail into a courtroom to try ailing opposition leader Khaleda Zia on corruption charges.
Khaleda Zia’s lawyers have condemned the decision to use the jail, where she is the only inmate, into a court, AFP added.
“Our leader (Khaleda Zia) was taken there (court) in a wheelchair by force. She told the court to hold the trial keeping her in the jail room as she won’t get justice,” BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul told a discussion on ‘EVM Boycott, National Election and Political Alliance’ organised by Nagorik Oikya at the Jatiya Press Club.
As reported, he alleged, that most of her lawyers did not go inside the court in the jail on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the government issued a gazette notification about shifting the makeshift court at Bakshibazar Alia Madrasah premises to Old Dhaka Central Jail to hold the trial of Zia Charitable Trust graft case.
The jail authorities reportedly brought Khaleda Zia to the court in a wheelchair around 12:15pm. Fakhrul said it is unbelievable that the trial of Khaleda Zia’s case is being held in a small room of an abandoned jail.
“It’s violation of the constitution and the existing law. We strongly condemn it.” Law minister Anisul Huq was quoted by AFP as saying that the decision to use the Central Prison as the venue for Khaleda Zia’s trial “has been done lawfully”
Arguing in favour of such makeshift court, Obaidul Quader, also road transport and bridges minister, alleged that attempts were being made to delay Khaleda Zia’s trial. “Khaleda Zia didn’t go to the court, on the plea of illness. There is no problem in going to the court inside the jail,” he said during a briefing at the Awami League president’s political office in the city.
He also pointed out that it might not be possible for Khaleda Zia to appear in court due to her age, so arrangement is made for her appearance in court in jail.
The BNP chief’s lawyer Nawshad Jamir sent a legal notice to the law secretary by post on Wednesday noon seeking revocation of the gazette notification shifting the special court to old Central Jail for the trial of Khaleda Zia in the Zia Charitable Trust graft case.
Jamir sent the legal notice seeking cancellation of the gazette notification on the shifting of the court within 8 September, the lawyer told UNB.
Khaleda Zia has been kept in this jail since he was convicted by a special court in Zia Orphanage Trust case in February.