With the coming verdict on the graft trial against BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia, the party is facing its ‘third major crisis,’ BNP Joint Secretary General Mahbub Uddin Khokon said.
It is ‘easy to guess’ what kind of verdict will be rendered, he said.
The BNP leader and Supreme Court Bar Association General Secretary made the remarks on Sunday evening at a meeting of expatriate party activists in New York’s Brooklyn on Sunday evening, according to a bdnews24 report.
“The BNP is facing a major crisis for the third time,” he said. “The first time was after the murder of President Ziaur Rahman and the military rule of HM Ershad. Nearly eighty percent of BNP activists had to join Ershad’s party.”
The second major crisis came after Jan 11, 2007 during the caretaker government, he said.
“Sheikh Hasina was allowed to leave the country at the time for medical treatment, but Begum Zia was not allowed to leave.”
“And now the BNP faces a third major threat because it believes Bangladesh is for Bangladeshis, whereas the Awami League thinks Bangladesh is for Indians as well.”
It is for this reason that BNP chief Khaleda Zia is facing a ‘conspiracy organised by neighbouring countries’, the Supreme Court advocate said.
The former prime minister and five others, including her son Tarique Rahman, stand accused of embezzling Tk 21 million in foreign donation meant for the Zia Orphanage Trust.
The Anti-Corruption Commission started the case nine years ago, in July 2008 during the military-installed caretaker regime.
Over a year later, charges were pressed against six people, including Khaleda and Tarique, who serves as the senior vice-chairman for the BNP.
The four others are former BNP MP Kazi Salimul Haque Kamal, businessman Sharfuddin Ahmed, former principal secretary to the PM Kamal Uddin Siddique, and Maminur Rahman, nephew of BNP founder Ziaur Rahman.
In March 2014, the trial started after all of them were indicted.
The three-time prime minister faces up to life in prison if found guilty of the charges.
The verdict in the case is set to be announced on Feb 8.