Bangladesh courts issue warrants for Khaleda Zia
Dhaka, Oct. 12: Two courts in Bangladesh issued warrants Thursday for the arrest of the Opposition leader and former premier Khaleda Zia, a move her party said was politically motivated ahead of elections expected next year.
The move came after the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina launched a crackdown on the Opposition, arresting leaders and supporters of Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).
One of the warrants relates to a failure to respond to a court summons in a defamation case, Dhaka’s chief prosecutor Abdullah Abu said.
The second was issued by a special anti-graft court after Zia failed to attend a hearing in a long-running case relating to the alleged embezzlement of funds meant for an orphanage, Abu said. Earlier in the week, another court had ordered Zia’s arrest on charges she incited the firebombing of a bus in 2015.
It is not the first time that a court has issued orders to arrest Zia, currently on a visit to London where her son lives, but police have not acted on previous warrants.
Political scientist Ataur Rahman said he believed this time could be different.