Dhaka, Oct 30 (UNB) – Terming unusual the High Court verdict in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case, BNP on Tuesday said it has got stunned and surprised as the party chairperson’s jail term has been extended to 10 years from five years.
Speaking at a press conference at the party’s Nayapaltan central office, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir also said people will judge in the future what the verdict should have been.
“The High Court order has made absolutely astonished. We think the verdict was given with a political motive, and we turn it down completely,” he said.
The BNP leader further said, “We think the government’s desire has fully reflected in the unusual verdict. This judgement is almost unprecedented as our leader’s jail term has been enhanced to 10 years from five years.”
Fakhrul said it has now become clear to people that the government is trying to eliminate opposition parties and destroy the democratic atmosphere by ‘using’ the court.
“It has been exposed clearly that the government is in no way willing to hold a participatory election as they want to keep our leader (Khaleda) and acting chairman Tarique Rahman out of the polls and politics,” he observed.
The BNP leader said they also think their ailing chairperson was given such punishment not only out of political vengeance, but also out of personal vengeance.
Earlier in the day, an HC bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur extended the jail term of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.
On February 8, the Special Court-5 sentenced her to five years' imprisonment in the graft case.
The ailing BNP chief is now undergoing medical treatment at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU).
Earlier on Monday, a lower court here sentenced Khaleda three others to seven years’ rigorous imprisonment each in the much-talked-about Zia Charitable Trust corruption case.
In protest against the verdict, BNP announced a three-day countrywide programme.
As part of the programmes, the party stage demonstrations today (Tuesday) while it will form human chain programmes on Wednesday and observe a token mass-hunger strike on Thursday in all metropolitan cities and district towns.
Fakhrul did not announce any fresh programme today in protest against the HC verdict as they have already pre-declared three-day programmes.
He, however, said they will give further action programmes from Jatiya Oikyafront’s rally scheduled to be held in the capital on Friday.