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Ruling Bangladesh Awami League (AL) general secretary Obaidul Quader on Friday alleged that Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chairperson Khaleda Zia lied about AL president and prime minister Sheikh Hasina in the court.

“Begum Zia resorted to brazen falsehood about prime minister Sheikh Hasina in her political statement while defending herself in the court on Thursday, in order to earn so-called sympathy,” Quader told a press conference in Noakhali.

Also road transport and bridges minister, Obaidul Quader arranged the press conference at the residence of a local AL leader, ostensibly to give reaction to Khaleda’s court remarks.

“This can in no way be political language. This is the language of the street. She is a former prime minister. We can’t expect the street language from her,” Quader added.

He said, “Major portion of her statement was about Awami League, Sheikh Hasina, mental and physical torture on her [Khaleda] and about her cases. She lied unilaterally.”

The AL leader wondered how Khaleda could say that Hasina did never need to appear in the court.

“Sheikh Hasina had to appear before the court many times during the regime of Khaleda Zia. It’s Sheikh Hasina who was arrested first during the emergency regime after one-eleven (takeover on 11 January 2007).”

Quader said the people of Bangladesh have not yet forgotten how Hasina was humiliated while taking her to the court.

“I saw in the media that Begum Zia was crying in the court. My question is: how many people had to cry for her repression [during her regime]? Thousands of men, women and children were killed during her regime.”

He alleged, “Khaleda burnt hundreds of people, teachers, drivers, and constables to death.”

The BNP chief burst into tears in the courtroom while giving her self-defence statement in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case before the makeshift court of Special Judge-5 at Bakshibazar for the second day on Thursday.

Khaleda pleaded her innocent and said the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case is a ‘false’ one as it was filed against her with a ‘political motive’.

Mentioning that there were many cases against Awami League president and current prime minister Sheikh Hasina on various charges, including corruption, abuse of power, extortion and irregularities, she said, “But she (Hasina) is lucky enough that she has not to appear before court like me.”

Khaleda went on saying, “All the cases filed against me are false ones. What crime did I commit for which I have to appear before the court repeatedly? I want to restore democratic governing system and people’s rights, and establish peace instead of conflict. Is it my offence for which I’m facing so much harassment and so many cases?”

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