Dhaka, Dec 5 (Just News): BNP chairperson and former prime minister Begum Khaleda Zia on Tuesday claimed that she never misused her good office during her stint as prime minister and said the graft cases were filed to “politically harass” her.
Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chairperson Khaleda Zia was giving her last day’s self-defence statement during the arguments in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case in the special judge court of Bakshibazar in Dhaka.
Claiming that all the allegations against her are “concocted” and “not proved”, the former prime minister said the graft cases were filed to “politically harass” her, the chief of country’s major political opposition camp.
She said, “All the cases against me are concocted and not proved. I strongly deny all the allegations. During my stint as the prime minister, I never misused the authority in any means, didn’t exert unjust influence of my post.
“[During the tenure] 6 Moinul Road [Dhaka cantonment] is my familial residence. All of my family members used to stay here. This is not the official residence of the prime minister.
“Being the prime minister, I did not misuse my good office to exert any influence on anyone subordinate to me. I never gave any unfair order to anybody.
“I neither became financially benefited nor made anyone financially benefitted while I was the prime minister. I discharged my duties with utmost integrity and honesty and neither breached any law nor committed any offence.
“I am completely innocent and deserve to be acquitted of this case,” claimed Khaleda.
And saying these, Khaleda told the court that she wanted to conclude the statements in her defence with the verse 135 of Surah An-Nisa and then she read it out.
The verse reads: “O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. So follow not [personal] inclination, lest you not be just. And if you distort [your testimony] or refuse [to give it], then indeed Allah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted.”
Earlier, Khaleda Zia got bail in the Zia Orphanage Trust and Zia Charitable Trust graft cases after she had surrendered before the makeshift court.
On 30 November, the court issued arrest warrants against Khaleda cancelling her bail in the cases.
The special judge court erected in Bakshibazar of the capital in a makeshift manner is trying the former prime minister in the two graft cases - one filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) during the military-backed emergency government in 2008 and the other by ACC during the past government led by Khaleda Zia’s archrival prime minister Sheikh Hasina in 2011.