Amid discussions over release on parole making the rounds, BNP chief Khaleda Zia has made it clear that she will not go for it rather resume the legal battle for bail, according to party insiders.
“Why should I seek parole when I am legally entitled to bail?” she was quoted by a senior leader saying on Sunday (Apr 14), when Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and two other leaders met her at the hospital.
The 74-year-old former prime minister is being now treated at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) since Apr 1, when she was moved from the Old Dhaka Central Jail.
Her parole has become a major topic of discussion since Apr 6, when the home minister said the government may consider her release on parole for treatment.
At a demonstration the next day, the BNP secretary general said they demand the unconditional release of the party chief, not parole.
Flanked by BNP National Standing Committee members Nazrul Islam Khan and Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul met Khaleda at the hospital on Sunday.
Mirza Fakhrul, however, said on Monday (Apr 15) that Mirza Fakhrul they did not discuss parole during the meeting.
The issue of parole is a concern of Khaleda’s family, he told the media.
However, one of the three BNP leaders, who attended the meeting, told Bangla Tribune on condition of anonymity that the matter came up during the discussion.
“We didn’t ask her about it, but it came up during the discussion, when she said, ‘Why should I seek parole when I am legally entitled to bail?’ ”, he said.
According to the senior BNP leader, the party chief said the verdicts in the cases against her “were not final and I can continue the legal battle after securing bail. Why should I go for parole?”
Speaking to Bangla Tribune, Standing Committee member Nazrul Islam Khan, echoed Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul. “We discussed her health and the lawsuits,” he said.
Khaleda, who has been serving a 17-year prison sentence for corruption since February last year, is currently undergoing treatment at the BSMMU.