Niko graft charge framing hearing deferred
A Dhaka court today set February 17 for the charge framing hearing of Niko graft case against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and 10 others.
Judge Md Aminul Islam of the Special Judge Court-9 accepted Khaleda’s non-appearance plea for today and passed the order in response this morning.
Barrister Moudud Ahmed and six others, now on bail, were present at the court.
Khaleda’s lawyers told yesterday that she will skip today’s hearing. Taherul Islam Touhid, one of her lawyers, today said she remained absent because of illness.
The ACC filed the case in December 2007 over charges that Khaleda and several others abused power to award a gas exploration and extraction deal to Canadian company Niko when she was PM between 2001 and 2006.
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, were also sued in the case.
The High Court on June 18 rejected a petition filed by Khaleda challenging the legality of the opening and proceeding of the case.
It also ordered the BNP chief to surrender before the trial court within two months after its verdict reaches the trial court.
Complying with the HC order, Khaleda on November 30 surrendered to a Dhaka court and secured bail in the case.