The Anti-Corruption Commission of Bangladesh had filed the Zia Orphanage Trust Graft Case with Ramna Police Station in July 2008, accusing Khaleda and 5 others of misappropriating over Tk 2 crore 1 lak that had come from Middle East base Donor for orphanage trust.
Khaleda Zia Jailed for 5 years
Former PM of Bangladesh and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has been jailed for 4 years after she was found guilty in the Zia Orphanage Trust case.
Khaleda Zia’s elder son and BNP’s Vice-Chairman Tarique Rahman and 4 others have been given 10 years in the case and a fine of Tk 2.10 crore each.
Judge Md Akhtaruzzaman of the Special Court-5 in Dhaka sentenced Khaleda Zia to rigorous imprisonment and said the shorter term was for “her health and social status”.
Prosecution sources said, Khaleda will be kept at the old Dhaka Central Jail on Nazimuddin Road of Dhaka.
Summary of Zia Orphanage Trust Graft Case.
Case had filed: July 3, 2008.
Total Number of accused: 6
Charges Submitted: March 19, 2014
Case Trial started: September 22, 2014
Total prosecution witnesses taken: 32 Persons
Defence witnesses: 3 Nos.
Closing arguments of the case: December 20, 2017 to January 25, 2018.
Number of days of proceedings the case : 236 days
Highest punishment: Life term
The case in brief
According to the case document, former prime minister of Bangladesh, (1991-1996) Begum Khaleda Zia opened an account named “Prime Minister’s Orphanage Trust” with the Ramna branch of Sonali Bank.
On June 9, 1991, Amount : 4,44,81,216 taka was deposited in the account from United Saudi Commercial Bank – USCB, but the money was not spent for any orphanage between June 9, 1991, and September 5, 1993, according to the case statement.
The Zia Orphanage Trust was register on Sep 1993. The Zia Orphanage Trust was set up by Khaleda Zia’s 2 sons Tareq Rahman and Arafat Rahman and a nephew.
A total of 2,33,33,500 taka was given to the Zia Orphanage Trust from the “Prime Minister’s Orphanage Trust” on November 13, 1993, to establish an orphanage in Bogra district of Bangladesh.
The amount of money was deposited in the Zia trust account on Nov. 15, 1993 and 400000 taka was withdrawn from the trust account of which Tk 277000 was spent on buying 2.79 acres of land at Gabtoli in Bogra under the name of Zia Orphanage Trust.
In the following 13 years, between 1993 and April 2006, there was no activity of the trust and the amount saved in the account of the trust grew to Tk 3.37 crore with bank interest.
According to the case docuements, the money came from Abroad donated by a Foreigner through United Saudi Commercial Bank to prime minister’s orphanage fund, which is a public fund.
But the money was transferred to Zia Orphanage Trust, a private fund, and the accused misappropriated the money by transferring the amount from a public fund to a private one, it said.
The defense counsels, however, said former Amir of Kuwait had sent $126,000 to a private fund to build an orphanage in memory of late president Ziaur Rahman. But the prosecution submitted “forged documents” to make the private fund appear as a public fund under the PM office, only to implicate and harass Khaleda for “political purposes”, defense counsels told the court.