Dhaka: Bangladesh Opposition leader Khaleda Zia has sent a legal notice to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, demanding an unconditional apology for her remarks on the BNP chairperson’s alleged assets abroad, a party official said.
The legal notice was sent yesterday by 72-year-old Zia’s lawyer Mahbubuddin Khokon, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir told reporters.
The notice demands an unconditional apology that can be issued to the media within 30 days. Compensation will be sought through legal means if no apology is issued, according to the notice, bdnews24.com reported.
Some media outlets had published a report claiming that an anti-graft investigation in Saudi Arabia has revealed that Zia and members of her family had assets in the kingdom.
On December 7, Hasina, 70, spoke on the matter, claiming that Zia had several assets in the Middle East.
She had also hit out at the media for the limited coverage of the matter.
“I haven’t noticed any eagerness to publish this news,” she had said.
She speculated that the media may have covered up the story due to financial interests, the report said.
Mirza Fakhrul responded to Hasina’s comments the next day, saying that the Prime Minister would have to apologise for the “baseless defamation”.
Zia is accused in several graft cases, including one under which she allegedly misappropriated funds of an orphanage trust named after her husband and slain president Ziaur Rahman.
She is also being tried in another case for inducting in her Cabinet during the 2001-2006 tenure people who were opposed to the country’s 1971 independence and subsequently convicted and hanged for committing war crimes.