Abu Ahmed Jomadar of Special Judge Court-3, which is hearing the Zia Orphanage Trust and Zia Charitable Trust graft cases against the former premier and eight others including her 'fugitive' elder son Tarique Rahman, issued the arrest warrant against the opposition leader.
    
The arrest warrant was issued after 69-year-old Zia's lawyers sought to defer the scheduled hearing saying their client could not appear due to "security reasons".
    
Court officials said the order came since the ex-premier in the past skipped more than 50 such hearings of the simultaneous trial of the two cases while her counsels every time gave different excuses for her absence.
    
The development came amid a political unrest as Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) continued to enforce a non-stop nationwide blockade since January 6, sparking violence that so far claimed nearly 110 lives.

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