Niko graft case: Charge framing hearing on Khaleda deferred again



A Dhaka court on Tuesday set November 24 for the charge framing hearing against BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia and others in the Niko graft case.

Judge Sheikh Hafizur Rahman of the Dhaka 9th Special Judge’s Court passed the order at the newly built courtroom in front of Keraniganj Central Jail in the morning.

Tuesday had been set earlier for holding the charge framing hearing, but prime accused Khaleda Zia refrained from appearing before the court on health grounds, making her counsel Zia Uddin Zia file a time plea again.

Accepting the plea, the court adjourned the hearing till November 20

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed the case against five people, including Khaleda Zia, with Tejgaon Police Station on December 9, 2007, on charge of causing huge losses to the state abusing power in signing a deal with Niko, a Canadian company for gas exploration and extraction.

Other accused are BNP standing committee member Barrister Moudud Ahmed, former state minister for energy and mineral resources late AKM Mosharraf Hossain, the then Principal Secretrary to the Prime Minister Dr Kamal Uddin Siddiqui, former acting secretary of the Ministry of Energy and Livestocks minister.

The ACC on May 5, 2008, submitted the charge-sheet against 11 people including Khaleda Zia. The ACC accused them of causing the state exchequer to cause losses higher than Tk 13,000 crore through the Niko deal.

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