- Khaleda surrenders before court
- Gets bail
- Dec 28, next date of hearing
- BNP leaders, activists gather at court premises
A Dhaka court today granted bail to BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia after she surrendered before it in Niko corruption case.
Judge Md Aminul Islam of the Special Judge’s Court-9 passed the order after she surrendered before the court around 12:20pm seeking bail.
The court fixed December 28 for charge framing hearing against Khaleda and 10 other accused in the case.
While hearing the bail petition, Khaleda's counsel Khandaker Mahbub Hossain told the court that his client did not misused the privilege of bail that she was given earlier in the case. “She surrendered before the court seeking bail in compliance with a High Court order. So she should be granted bail for the sake of justice.”
Khaleda left the court premises around 12:35pm, 15 minutes after she appeared before the court amid tight security.
Additional members of law enforcement and security agencies stayed alert on the court premises since morning to avert any untoward situation.
A number of BNP leaders and activists gathered in front the court to welcome their party chief.
The Anti-Corruption Commission filed the case in December, 2007, accusing Khaleda and several others of abusing power to award a gas exploration and extraction deal to Canadian company Niko when she was prime minister between 2001 and 2006.
The anti-graft body pressed charges against Khaleda and 10 others in May 2008. Two months later the High Court stayed the proceedings of the case.
On June 18 this year, the HC cleared the way for the trial proceedings to resume and ordered the BNP chief to surrender before the trial court within two months after a copy of the HC verdict reached it.
Former law minister Moudud Ahmed, former state minister for energy AKM Mosharraf Hossain, former acting energy secretary Khandaker Shahidul Islam and Kashem Sharif, vice-president (South Asia) of Niko Resources Bangladesh Ltd, are also accused in the case.