A Dhaka court today deferred the hearing on charge framing against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and 16 others in Gatco graft case till July 15, as the BNP chief was not produced before the court due to illness.
Judge Abu Syed Diljar Hossain of Special Judge's Court-3 of Dhaka passed the order after the jail authority informed Khaleda's illness.
In Khaleda’s custody warrant, the authorities said they failed to produce Khaleda, now in Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, before the court as she was ill.
Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Public Prosecutor Mosharraf Hossain Kajol told the court that the hearing on charge framing could be started against other accused in the case.
Twelve accused, including former BNP minister Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain were present at the court while two BNP leaders --AKM Mosharraf Hossain and Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury --were absent.
Two others have been absconding since the case was filed against them.
The ACC filed the case with Tejgaon Police Station, accusing Khaleda and several others of misappropriating around Tk 1,000 crore while dealing with Global Agro Trade (Pvt) Company Ltd (Gatco).
On May 13, 2008, the anti-graft watchdog pressed charges against Khaleda and 23 others.
Meanwhile, seven other accused, including Khaleda's younger son Arafat Rahman Koko, were dropped from the charge sheet after their deaths.