Hearing on 11 cases against Khaleda Zia adjourned

Dhaka: A Dhaka court has once again deferred the hearing in 11 cases on charges of sedition and inciting violence against opposition leader and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chairperson Khaleda Zia.

Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Judge Quamrul Hossain Molla on Tuesday set May 22 as the date for the next hearing after considering a petition by the former Prime Minister’s lawyers who cited her ill health, bdnews24.com reported.

“Madam is unwell,” said Zia’s lawyer Jainul Abedin Mesbah. “As a result, we petitioned for more time and the court accepted our request and set a new date for the hearing.”

The hearings have been delayed several times before.

Zia, a two-time Prime Minister of Bangladesh (1991-1996, 2001-2006), faces trial in 10 cases related to violence during Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s (BNP) anti-government protests in early 2015 over demands to advance election dates.

The BNP chief is also facing sedition charges for expressing doubts over the widely-accepted version that three million were killed or martyred during the 1971 Liberation War when Bangladesh gained independence from Pakistan.

Of the 11 cases, eight were filed with Darussalam police station and two with Jatrabari police station for arson attacks on vehicles during anti-government agitation in 2015.

The other case was filed with a Dhaka court on sedition charge for Zia’s remarks on the number of Liberation War martyrs.