Charge framing against Khaleda in Niko case deferred

Court Correspondent

Dhaka Special Judge’s court –9 differed charge framing against BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia in NiKo case as the defense pleaded for time citing illness of Khaleda Zia.
The former prime minister’s counsel filed time petition mentioning that due to illness she would not be able to appear in court and so she needed time.
Earlier on Dec 28, the charge framing of the case was deferred as the BNP chief sought more time.
According to the case details, the Anti-Corruption Commission filed the case on Dec 9, 2007 after the BNP chief was arrested by the then military-backed caretaker government.
The IO of the case pressed charge sheet against 11 people, including Khaleda, on May 5, 2008, for allegedly causing a loss of Tk 137 billion to the State by awarding the gas exploration contract to Canadian company Niko Resources.
The High Court on July 9, 2008 stayed proceedings of the graft case and issued a ruling after Khaleda filed the petition. The stay order was upheld by the Appellate Division.
The case was stuck for the last seven years until the ACC moved to revive it last year.
On June 18, 2015, the High Court rejected Khaleda’s petition questioning the legality of the case and lifted a freeze on the case proceedings.
It had also ordered the former prime minister to surrender before the court within two months after receiving the court order.
On Nov 30, Khaleda surrendered to the trial court and secured bail in the case.

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