Dhaka: A Bangladeshi court on Sunday granted more time to former prime minister and opposition leader Khaleda Zia to plead her cases while setting a new date for deposition of witnesses in the two graft charges against her.
The court of Dhaka's Third Metropolitan Sessions Judge Basudeb Roy set the new date of November 24 to record testimonies. Anti-Corruption Commission Deputy Director Harun-ur-Rashid, plaintiff in the cases against the BNP chief was present to depose.
Basudev Roy of Dhaka's Third Metropolitan Special Judges Court gave the order in Khaleda's presence, bdnews reported.
Earlier, a testimony hearing in the Zia Orphanage Trust and Zia Charitable Trust cases filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission was scheduled on November 9.
The depositions in the 'Zia Orphanage Trust' and 'Zia Charitable Trust' graft cases filed by the Anti Corruption Commission have been deferred as two pleas by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chief over the cases are yet to be resolved at the Appellate Division.
The 69-year-old former prime minister arrived at the temporarily set up court in the morning.
Her lawyers cited two 'leave to appeal' petitions awaiting hearings in the High Court and sought more time before witnesses were heard.
The judge granted the plea, and Khaleda left the court after the hearing ended in about 20 minutes.
On March 19, the court of Dhaka's Third Metropolitan Sessions Judge Basudeb Roy framed charges against eight persons including Khaleda and her elder son Tarique Rahman in the two cases accusing them of embezzling Tk 53 million (USD 6,77,000).
Earlier the former prime minister had moved High Court challenging the indictment but her plea was dismissed.
Zia and three of her aides are accused of siphoning off 31.5 million taka (about USD 400,000) from a charitable trust named after her late husband Ziaur Rahman, a former president who was assassinated in 1981.
She is also accused of leading a group of five people, including Rahman, in embezzling 21.5 million taka (USD 277,000) -- meant to go to an orphanage set up in memory of her late husband.