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Govt has no scope to send Khaleda Zia abroad

Law minister says

Published : 25 Sep 2023 10:36 PM | Updated : 26 Sep 2023 04:38 PM

As per the Code of Criminal Procedure, there is no scope for the government to send BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia abroad. Her conditional release has to be canceled for permission to send her abroad for treatment purpose. 

Speaking on the issue on Monday, Law Minister Anisul Huq said that the government has nothing to do about Khaleda Zia’s treatment abroad considering the legal aspect.

“I have told it earlier that the BNP chief got the conditional release as per the section 401 (1) of the Code of Criminal Procedure which is a generosity of the Prime Minister. Her conditional release has to be canceled first for permission to go abroad,” the law minister said while talking to reporters at the Secretariat.

Earlier on Sunday, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal had said that there are legal complications in taking BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia abroad for treatment purposes. He, however, said that there might be a need for a court approval in this regard.

On that day, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir issued an ultimatum to the government to take necessary steps to send his party chief abroad for better treatment within 48 hours.

Replying to a question about Home Minister’s statement, Anisul Huq said, “The application has to be sent to the Home Ministry first and the Home Ministry will send it to the Law Ministry and it depends on the opinion of the Law Ministry. I think that the government can’t do anything more as per the law.”

Khaleda Zia is now undergoing treatment at the Evercare Hospital in the city. She was moved from her cabin to the Coronary Care Unit (CCU) on Friday (September 22) morning. Later, she was sent back to her cabin in the afternoon on that day.

On September 18, the Security Services Division of the home ministry issued a notification extending the suspension of Khaleda Zia’s jail term by another six months. She has to receive treatment in Dhaka, and she will not be allowed to go abroad during this period, said the notification.

The 78-year-old former prime minister has been suffering from various ailments, including liver cirrhosis, arthritis, diabetes, kidney, lung, heart and eye problems.

Since her conditional release in 2020, she has been receiving treatment at the hospital under a medical board headed by cardiologist Professor Dr Shahabuddin Talukder.

Khaleda Zia was sent to jail after a lower court sentenced her to five years’ imprisonment in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case on February 8 in 2018. Later, she was found guilty in another corruption case the same year.

Amid the Covid-19 outbreak, the government temporarily freed the BNP chief from the jail through an executive order suspending her sentence on March 25 in 2020 with the condition that she stay in her Gulshan house in the city and not leave the country.

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