Khaleda Zia skips Bangladesh court appearance in graft cases

Bangladesh opposition leader Khaleda Zia on Wednesday did not appear before a court here in connection with the hearing of graft cases against her, citing illness and confinement by authorities for the past four days.

Dhaka: Bangladesh opposition leader Khaleda Zia on Wednesday did not appear before a court here in connection with the hearing of graft cases against her, citing illness and confinement by authorities for the past four days.

The counsels of the former prime minister filed a plea seeking more time for her to appear in the court in the 'Zia Orphanage Trust' and the 'Zia Charitable Trust' graft cases.

The court rejected the petition but exempted Zia from appearing at today's hearing.

Zia has been confined to her offices in the Bangladeshi capital and barred from leaving by police as deadly street violence engulfed the country this past week.

She has called a nationwide non-stop transport blockade in an effort to topple the government and pave the way for inclusive polls.

Ties hit a new low after the BNP and other opposition parties boycotted last year's elections, claiming the contest would be rigged.

Zia has been a virtual prisoner since Saturday, with the gates of her compound padlocked and riot police stationed outside.

The Bangladesh Nationalist Party chief's lawyers filed a petition to review the court's decision, which was also rejected, bdnews24 online reported.

The court went ahead with its proceedings to record statements of the plaintiff in the cases, said Anti Corruption Commission deputy director Harun Ur Rashid.

The Third Special Judge's Court of Dhaka is hearing the graft cases at its makeshift premises set up at the Aliya Madrasa grounds in Baksibazar area.

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