India Returns Former Bangladesh PM Khaleda Zia's British Lawyer Lord Carlile From Airport

| July 12 , 2018 , 17:40 IST

India turned back British parliamentarian Lord Alexander Carlile from the Delhi airport on Wednesday soon after his arrival due to an inappropriate visa.

Lord Carlile, the legal consultant to jailed former Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia had arrived in India in an attempt to address media regarding the "baseless allegations" made against her by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), after he was denied permission to enter Bangladesh.

The British national said to Dhaka Tribune that since he was not permitted to come to Dhaka, he wanted to conduct a press conference from India "to explain the complexities in Khaleda Zia's case to the international media community".

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However, Carlile was turned back from the Delhi airport as he was carrying an 'inappropriate' visa.

"His intended activity in India was incompatible with the purpose of his visit as mentioned in his visa application," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

"It was therefore decided to deny him entry into India upon arrival," he said.

In a statement to media later on, Raveesh Kumar detailed that there was discrepancy in Carlile's visa application form and that he had been informed in advance that the visa was invalid.

"He didn't have appropriate visa and there was discrepancy in his visa application form. We had informed him in advance that your visa is invalid," Kumar said.

"When he landed here he already had a return boarding pass for a flight which was scheduled for 2 hours later. Does a business visa constitute coming here and addressing a conference? Kumar questioned.

The decision is expected to go down well with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's government as well, that had also denied entry of Carlile into their country.  

Former Bangladesh PM Khaleda Zia took Carlile onto her legal team in March. Zia currently has nearly 3 dozen criminal cases filed against her, and was convicted in the first case in February this year. She was subsequently sentenced to 5 years in jail for stealing $ 253,000 in foreign donations in the name of an orphanage trust set up when she was PM from 2001 to 2006.