No way to release Khaleda beyond judicial system: Hasan

DHAKA Information Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud today reiterated that the release of Begum Khaleda Zia is possible only through the judicial process.

The BNP chief is in prison being convicted in a graft case and only the court can release her he said at a press briefing at his Secretariat office here.

The minister said: BNP always gives threat that they will wage a movement to release Begum Khaleda Zia . . . but her release is the matter of the court and there is no other way.

He said BNP couldnt wage any movement in the last 10 and a half years. I want to question the BNP leaders in which way they will proceed to release Begum Zia as there is no alternative to the legal process to free her he added.

We saw them (BNP leaders) making efforts to free her . . . BNP lawmakers met with Khaleda Zia a few days ago and they are saying that they will send her abroad for treatment. At first the matter of release will have to be solved and then they can decide where she will go said Dr Hasan also Awami League publicity and publication secretary.

Replying to a question the minister said Begum Zia was not arrested over any political issue and she is not a political prisoner.

Many political leaders were arrested over political issues in the past. Movements were also waged to release the leaders. But the issue of Begum Zia is not like that. She is in prison in a graft case as she embezzled the money of orphans he added.

About the recent information unveiled by WikiLeaks on August 21 grenade attack Dr Hasan said Tarique Rahman was the mastermind of the attack and Begum Khelada Zia was well informed about it. It was also proved in the court he added.

The minister said It was not possible to carry out such an attack without the patronization of the then head of the government.

The minister said mainly the attack was carried out to eliminate the leadership of Awami League and to kill AL President and incumbent Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. Now I want to ask BNP leaders what they will say about the information of WikiLeaks he added.

About Bangabandhu Satellite 1 Dr Hasan said now all the public and private television channels are airing their programmes through the satellite. It is really a joyous day for the country he added.

He said four channels of BTV have been airing there programmes through the Bangabandhu Satellite 1 since a few months ago without any interruption. Bangabandhu Satellite has all facilities to render full services he added.

The information minister said there are 35 television channels on air while the government has given 45 licenses. The journey of the private television channel in Bangladesh began under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina he added.

Dr Hasan said the government is working relentlessly to bring back discipline in the countrys broadcast media. We have already taken initiatives in the interest of mass media . . . these initiatives put media in order mostly he said.

He said the government is working to digitalize the broadcast media in phases.

Information Secretary Abdul Malek was present during the briefing.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)