Thursday, March 21, 2019 | ePaper

Niko graft hearing deferred as Khaleda fails to attend

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Court Correspondent  :
A Dhaka court on Wednesday again deferred the hearing on charge framing against BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia in Niko graft case until March 3. .
Prison authorities said, they could not produce Khaleda Zia in the court as she did not rise from bed. Yesterday, the court sat at 12 noon.  
Meanwhile, Khaleda Zia's counsel Masud Ahmed Talukder informed the court  
that the BNP chief was not produced in the court because of her sickness. The court asked the prison authorities, "Where is Khaleda Zia?"
Judge Sheikh Hafizur Rahman of the Special Judge Court-9 passed the order setting the date for charge framing in the corruption case.
However, the prison representative present in the ejlash, said, "Khaleda Zia is sleeping. So, she could not be brought in the court." The judge then fixed a fresh date for hearing saying, the charge framing was not possible because of the absence of an accused.
BNP Standing Committee member Barrister Moudud Ahmed, another accused in the case, told the court that a person cannot sleep till 12 noon. "She is ill. So she is sleeping."
On December 9, 2007, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed the graft case with Tejgaon Police Station accusing Khaleda Zia and 10 others of abusing power to award a gas exploration and extraction deal to Canadian company Niko during her tenure as Prime Minister.
On May 5, 2008, it submitted the charge sheet against 11 persons.  Later, on July 9, 2008, the High Court Division adjourned the proceedings of the case.
Khaleda Zia filed a petition with the High Court challenging the legality of the case which the court rejected on June 18, 2015.

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