Arrest Warrant Against Former Bangladeshi Premier Khaleda Zia

Bangladesh High Court issues an arrest warrant against former Prime Minister of Bangladesh Khaleda Zia.

2 min read
Former Prime Minister of Bangladesh Khaleda Zia looking at a protest rally on Tuesday, 5 January 2016. (Photo: AP)

A court issued an arrest warrant against embattled Bangladeshi ex-prime minister and main opposition leader Khaleda Zia (70) in a 2015 case of arson.

The Metropolitan Sessions Judge’s Court of Dhaka passed the order against the chairperson of the main opposition outside Parliament, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and 27 others from her party.

Judge Kamrul Hossain Mollah, after accepting the charges against 38 people including the 28, passed the order for a deadly arson attack on a passenger bus during an anti-government protest campaign in 2015.

Zia’s party is accused of spearheading a violent nationwide campaign to topple Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s ruling Awami League government.

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina (left) and Opposition leader Khaleda Zia. (Photo: <b>The Quint</b>)
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina (left) and Opposition leader Khaleda Zia. (Photo: The Quint)
The court issued the arrest warrant against Begum Zia in connection with an arson attack on a passenger bus in January last year.
Official in the Metropolitan Sessions Judge’s Court

He said Judge Kamrul Hossain Mollah passed the order and asked the police to execute the warrant and submit the compliance report by 27 April.

Lawyers and legal experts, however, said Zia was likely to get a chance to secure bail appearing in the court ahead of the deadline.

Last year, Zia was charged with masterminding the arson attack on a bus that left 29 people injured, nine of them critically injured, days after Hasina said the former premier could be put on trial for recent violence.

Wednesday’s arrest order is yet another blow to the beleaguered former premier, who has described previous cases, including corruption-related, against her as politically motivated and aimed at keeping her out of politics.

The development came hours after another court in the capital sent BNP’s just-elected secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, to jail under several charges of sabotage.

However, but soon after, the same court ordered his release as his lawyers said he fell sick after his imprisonment.

File photo of Khaleda Zia outside the court premises in Dhaka. (Photo: AP Screengrab)
File photo of Khaleda Zia outside the court premises in Dhaka. (Photo: AP Screengrab)

Alamgir’s imprisonment order came hours after BNP announced him as the secretary general of the party.

Soon after the announcement, Alamgir appeared before the court with a prayer for bail on expiry of his existing bail, granted earlier by the High Court.

The magistrate denied his prayer and ordered him to be sent to jail... hours later the same court granted him bail as his lawyers filed a fresh petition saying their client became sick in the prison.
Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Court Official

(With PTI inputs)

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