A Bangladeshi court today warned ex-premier and opposition chief Khaleda Zia that she would be arrested if she fails to appear before it for the next hearing in a major graft case, in which she is a key-accused.
"She (Zia) is being given time for the last time to appear before the court during the hearing on charge framing in the two cases. She must be present in the court on March 19," Special Judge Rezaul Islam was quoted as saying by court officials.
The judge made the comments after Zia's lawyers sought to defer the hearing claiming their client was sick.
The Anti-Corruption Commission in 2009 filed the case against Khaleda, her elder son and BNP Senior Vice Chairman Tarique Rahman and four others on charge of embezzling over Tk 2.10 crore by forming a "fake" trust.
The officials said with the deferment of the hearing today, Zia so far sought time for the 41st time in the Zia Orphanage Trust and for the 11th time in the Zia Charitable Trust graft cases in the court which was set to try both the cases.
The court warning came after public prosecutors filed a petition seeking an arrest warrant for Zia for her repeated failure to turn up as her lawyers submitted a prayer for postponement of the hearing on grounds of her "cold related illness".
Zia's counsels, however, assured Judge that their client would certainly be present in the next hearing.