The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court on Monday dismissed Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson Khaleda Zia’s appeal against a High Court verdict that had rejected her petition challenging indictment in the Zia Orphanage Trust fund embezzlement case. The five-judge bench headed by the chief justice, Md Muzammel Hossain, also denied Khaleda’s appeal against another High Court verdict that had rejected her petition challenging cognizance of the charges in the orphanage trust case by the same trial court. The apex court’s order this morning coincides with the schedule of the Special Judge’s Court 3 which is supposed to record testimonies of the prosecution witnesses in the orphanage trust case.

The Appellate Division, while passing the order, resumed hearing in Khaleda’s third petition where she challenged her indictment in the Zia Charitable Trust fund embezzlement case. Former prime minister Khaleda had filed three appeals against the High Court verdicts that rejected her petitions challenging proceedings in the two trusts cases by the judge of the Special Judge’s Court 3, Bashudev Roy. Earlier, the Appellate Division rejected Khaleda’s two appeals against High Court orders that summarily rejected her petitions challenging the legality of appointing Bashudev Roy as the judge of the court.

The court on March 19 charged Khaleda, her eldest son Tarique Rahman and four others with misappropriation of about Tk 2.11 crore after withdrawal of the money from the Zia Orphanage Trust fund between November 13, 1993 and March 28, 2007. The court charged Khaleda and three others with collection of Tk 3.15 crore illegally in the name of the Zia Charitable Trust and subsequent withdrawal of the money from the fund as an attempt to misappropriate. On September 7, 2010, Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Judge’s Court took cognizance of the charges against Khaleda, Tarique and seven others in the two graft cases and sent the cases to the Special Judge’s Court 3 for trial. Both the cases were filed during army-led interim regime.

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