Bangladesh’s embattled former prime minister Khaleda Zia’s legal woes got worse on Sunday after a defamation case was filed against her for alleging that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s son has stashed $ 300 million in a bank account.
A complaint was filed with a Dhaka court against Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chief Zia for alleging that prime minister’s son Sajeeb Wazed Joy has stashed $ 300 million in banks, which the plaintiff, a pro-government politician, said was ‘defamatory’.
AB Siddiqui, president of the pro-Awami League Jananetri Parishad, filed the case against the 70-year-old former prime minister at the Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court.
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The court of Metropolitan Magistrate Abdullah Al Masud heard the matter and ordered police to investigate, media reports said.
In an address during the May 1 rally at Dhaka’s Suhrawardy Udyan, the BNP chief had asked Prime Minister Hasina to have her son questioned in custody over his “$ 300 million stashed away in banks”.
“Her remarks are offending. I believe her comments, without providing any evidence or fact, were meant to defame the prime minister’s son,” reads the petition by Siddiqui.
Khaleda along with several other BNP leaders have been claiming that that the documents of a case over bribing a FBI agent in exchange for information about Joy talked about the $ 300 million in the account of the prime minister’s son.
Joy shot back at Khaleda on the social media after the remarks, calling her “a liar and a thief”.
“Madam, if you know where the $ 300 million is, please let me know,” Joy had said in his Facebook post on May 1, adding, “I would like to donate it to orphans.”
Speaking at Parliament, Hasina has dared Khaleda to accept the challenge thrown at her by Joy.
Khaleda has been sued in two cases filed against the two- time former prime minister on the issue.
On May 3, a Taka 1 crore defamation case was filed with a Comilla court against Zia for her comment.
On May 1, Khaleda at a rally in Suhrawardy Udyan in Dhaka alleged that senior journalist Shafik Rehman was arrested for “collecting information on his (Joy’s) involvement in siphoning off Taka 2,500 crore”.
Zia is already facing a slew of graft cases.
Last month, a court rejected two petitions of Zia who appeared before it in a graft case which accuses her of embezzling over USD four lakh from a trust when she was the premier.