Court fixes Aug 10 to frame charge against Khaleda in Niko graft case

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Dhaka, July 11: The court on Monday fixed August 10 for framing charges against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and 10 others in connection with the Niko graft case.

Judge Md Aminul Islam of the Special Judge Court-9 in Dhaka passed the order in the afternoon responding to a time petition filed by Khaleda’s lawyer Sanaullah Mia.

In the plea, Sanaullah Mia said the BNP chief skipped Monday’s hearing due to security reasons.

On December 9, 2007, the ACC filed the Niko graft case against Khaleda Zia and four others in connection with a loss of Tk 137.77 crore to the national exchequer caused by the signing of an oil and gas exploration agreement with Niko during BNP’s rule from 2001 to 2006.

On May 5, 2008, the ACC submitted the charge sheet of the case to the Dhaka chief metropolitan magistrate’s court against Khaleda and 10 others.

The High Court on July 9, 2008 stayed the proceedings of the graft case as Khaleda filed a petition challenging the legality of the case against her. The Appellate Division later upheld the stay order.

As ACC had moved to revive the case, On June 18, 2015, the High Court rejected Khaleda’s petition questioning the legality of the case and lifted the stay order.

The court also asked the BNP chief to surrender before the court within two months of receiving the court order.

On November 30, Judge Mohammad Aminul Islam of Special Judge’s Court-9 granted bail to Khaleda in the case after she surrendered before his court.