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BNP: No reason for Khaleda to seek presidential clemency

  • Published at 02:29 pm July 1st, 2021
khaleda zia
A shadow of her former defiant self Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

BNP responds to Law Minister Anisul Huq’s comment that Khaleda Zia has to confess to her corruption offences and then seek pardon from the president to go abroad for her treatment

BNP on Thursday said there was no reason for the party chief Khaleda Zia to seek clemency from the president, since she did not commit any crime.

"There’s no question of seeking pardon as she [Khaleda] has not committed any crime. The law minister’s remarks [on Khaleda confessing to corruption offences] reflect the nefarious political motives of the fascist government, which is nothing but a foul play,” said BNP Organizing Secretary Syed Emran Saleh Prince.

On Wednesday, Law Minister Anisul Haq in parliament said Khaleda Zia had to confess first to her corruption offences, and then seek pardon from the president to go abroad for her treatment.

Prince said the law minister’s comments on Khaleda also revealed the government’s political vengeance and an attempt to control and pollute politics. “We strongly protest the statements made by the law minister in parliament,” he added. 

He said the BNP chairperson had been suffering from serious heart, kidney, and liver complications, and receiving treatment at her Gulshan residence since she was discharged from Evercare Hospital in the capital.

The BNP leader said the medical board formed at the Evercare Hospital for Khaleda’s treatment recommended sending her to an advanced medical centre abroad.  

“We urged the government to shun political vengeance and not to create any barrier to sending the three-time former prime minister abroad for advanced treatment.”

He also refuted the law minister’s comment that there was no scope to reconsider a fresh application from Khaleda’s family to send her aboard under Section 401 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), since it had been disposed of earlier. 

“The government can do it if it wants to under Section 401 of the CrPC,” he added.

Prince alleged that the government had been trying to push Khaleda towards death by creating obstacles to ensuring advanced medical treatment for her.

"We would like to say the government has to shoulder all the responsibilities if anything bad happens to Khaleda Zia.”

On June 19, Khaleda Zia returned home from Evercare Hospital in Dhaka after 53 days of treatment for Covid-19 infections and other physical complications.

The 76-year-old BNP chief, who tested positive for Covid-19 on April 11, was admitted to Evercare Hospital on April 27.

She tested negative for Covid-19 on May 8, 27 days after she had been infected with the deadly virus.

Her family submitted an application to the government on May 6 seeking permission to send her abroad for advanced treatment, but it was turned down.

Amid the coronavirus outbreak, the government freed Khaleda Zia from jail for six months through an executive order suspending her sentences on March 25, 2020.

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