The Ministry of External Affairs on Thursday said India has denied entry to British national Lord Alexander Carlile, who advises former Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia on legal matters, the Hindustan Times reported.
Carlile reportedly arrived in India on Wednesday without an appropriate visa. “He did not have appropriate visa and there was discrepancy in his visa application form,” said Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar. “We had informed him in advance that your visa is invalid.”
Kumar said that Carlile already had a return boarding pass for a flight, which was scheduled for two hours later when he arrived. “Does a business visa constitute coming here and addressing a conference?” the spokesperson asked.
However, Dhaka Tribune had reported on Monday that the Carlile was scheduled to hold a press conference along with Zia’s legal team and the top leaders of her Bangladesh Nationalist Party at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of South Asia in New Delhi on Friday.
“Since I did not get the permission to come to Dhaka, I wanted to hold the press conference in India in order explain the complexities of Khaleda Zia’s case to the international media community,” Carlile told Dhaka Tribune.
In February, Zia and five others, including her son Tarique Rahman, were sentenced to prison terms after being convicted of embezzling 21 million takas (approximately Rs 1.6 crore) in foreign donations meant for the Zia Orphanage Trust, which was established during her rule between 2001 and 2006.
Earlier this month, the country’s Supreme Court upheld its previous order staying the bail granted by a High Court to Zia in a 2015 murder case.