There is no iota of evidence against any of the six accused including BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case, Md Ahsan Ullah, a counsel for one the accused, said today.
Ullah, a counsel for Sharfuddin Ahmed, a businessman who was accused in the graft case, said this while placing arguments before the special judge court-5 in Dhaka’s Bakshibazar.
After the hearing, Judge Md Akhtaruzzaman adjourned the argument hearing for today and ordered to place rest of the argument tomorrow.
On July 3, 2008, the Anti-Corruption Commission filed the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case with Ramna Police Station accusing Khaleda Zia, her eldest son Tarique Rahman, Sharfuddin Ahmed and three others for misappropriating over Tk 21 million (2.10 crore) that came as grants from a foreign bank for orphans via a foreign bank.
Of the six accused, Khaleda, former BNP lawmaker Salimul Haq Kamal and businessman Sharfuddin Ahmed are on bail, while the others, including Tarique, are absconding.
In his argument, Ahsan Ullah said Sharfuddin Ahmed took Tk 2.10 crore as advance from Zia Orphanage Trust as part of an agreement to sell his lands in Ashulia to the Trust in 2006. Due to army-backed caretaker government’s takeover power in 2007, the land could not be sold to the Trust.
Ahsan Ullah also said in 2012, he returned back Tk 2.10 crore in favour of the Zia Orphanage Trust as he got a notice from a Dhaka court in this regard.
“Therefore, the allegations of embezzlement of money from the Zia Orphanage Trust fund is totally misconceived and has no iota of evidence,” he added.