Sunday, January 13, 2008

Trial Episode 1: Sheikh Hasina

Watch today's news coverage on Sheikh Hasina's trial:

BDnews24 reports,
Earlier during the trial, Hasina said: "I know I won't get justice. I want justice from Allah and people."

"I have struggled all my life for democracy. I will struggle more. But I have never agreed to any military dictator's coming to power or becoming president. Military dictators have captured power in this country time and again."

Hasina described the chief adviser's address to the nation as a "lie".

"The chief adviser said the trial of politicians was going on under law. This is worse than trial. This is in-camera trial. This is against the constitution."

At the time, the judge intervened and told Hasina, "Instead of saying all this, tell us whether you are guilty or innocent."

The comment prompted lawyers to heckle the judge.

Hasina called for calm.

The Awami League president continued: "The Election Commission has said they will hold the election by December, as per their roadmap. However, where there is no road, where do you get the map?"

The embattled party chief also demanded the unconditional release of all students and teachers of Dhaka University detained following the campus unrest last August.

"Defaming a teacher is shameful for the nation. The nation will not tolerate this shame. They don't want the nation to become educated," she said.

To the judge, Hasina said: "Why is everything revealed to you from a special place. You have no power to do anything against them. If you do, you may be in trouble."

"I wanted to resist vote rigging by the four-party alliance in order to establish the people's right to vote. This is my big crime."

"I was abroad attending to my ailing daughter when the cases were filed against me. I was then told that if I did not return to the country the cases would be withdrawn against me."

"I am now facing these false cases because I refused to agree to their proposal," Hasina said.

The former premier said: "I don't know Azam Jahangir Chowdhury. I have never even met him. How then could I take bribe from him?"

"Around 4,300 megawatts of power were produced during my tenure. How was so much electricity produced if I took bribes?"

"I want to tell the nation through the court that I'm a daughter of the Father of the Nation."

"I myself became prime minister and have never taken one taka through corruption. I'm completely innocent. How can I tolerate such defamation?"

Hasina said she had given the family's Dhanmondi home to the nation and that 1,200 students were continuing their studies through the Bangabandhu Memorial Trust.

She claimed 982 students had had their education suspended due to the case.

Hasina claimed that she had not had full access to her lawyer: "I have been kept in solitary confinement," she said.

"Allah protected me from the attacks on August 15 and August 21. But now they want to kill me off politically. This case has been filed to smear me in front of the people," Hasina alleged.

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