BNP responsible for delay in verdict copy: Qamrul

Food Minister Qamrul Islam.

Food Minister Qamrul Islam has claimed that the BNP is responsible for the delay in the copy of the verdict against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case.

Food Minister Qamrul Islam.

“The BNP did not submit an immediate request for a certified copy after the verdict,” the Awami League leader and advocate said at a discussion of the Bangabandhu Cultural Alliance at the National Press Club on Sunday.

“They submitted the request two days afterwards. They delayed it unnecessarily and submitted it on Sunday.”

“They did so in an attempt to sow division, create a misunderstanding with the public and instigate it.”

Khaleda has been imprisoned since the court jailed her for five years over the graft case. Her legal team will apply to the High Court for an appeal and seek bail once it has secured a certified copy of the verdict.

The BNP claims that the government is blocking the release of the verdict copy in an attempt to keep Khaleda Zia in prison.

“Of course they will receive a copy of the verdict,” Minister Qamrul said. “They will get it on the day instructed by the court. The copy has to be typed. This is not a matter for the government, but a matter of the court.”

The BNP chief’s participation in the upcoming elections is also up to the court, he said.

“The government has nothing to say on the matter.”

The party must decide whether it would go the polls without Khaleda but the election would not be delayed for anyone and would proceed according to schedule, he said.

“Unless you want the BNP to die, you must take part in the polls,” Qamrul said. “We do not want any party to be left out of the election.”

The food minister also said the BNP had shown its disorderly nature during protests in districts on Sunday.