A Dhaka court has set March 4 for the next hearing in the Gatco graft case to indict against 20 accused in the case, including BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.
Judge Abu Syed Dilder of Dhaka Special Judge Court 3, located in Old Dhaka's Bakshibazar area, fixed the date of the hearing on Sunday.
At the previously scheduled hearing on Sunday, Khaleda's lawyer Sanaullah Mia represented her before the court. However, since other accused did not appear before the court, their lawyers pleaded for more time.
The court took their plea into consideration and fixed March 4 for the next hearing.
Zainul Abedin Mesbah, another lawyer representing the BNP chief, confirmed the matter.
On September 2, 2007, Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Deputy Director Golam Shahriar Chowdhury filed the graft case with Tejgaon police station against Khaleda, her younger son Arafat Rahman Koko and 11 others.
Later on May 13, 2008, a charge sheet was filed in court against 24 people, including the BNP chief.
According to the charges, the accused caused a loss of Tk145.64 crore to the national exchequer by allegedly awarding the contract of container handling at the Chittagong port and the Dhaka’s Inland Container Depot to Global Agro Trade (Pvt) Company Ltd (Gatco).
Among other accused are BNP leaders and former ministers Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, M Shamsul Islam, MK Anwar, Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury.
Meanwhile, accused BNP leaders M Saifur Rahman and Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan, and Khaleda's son Arafat Rahman Koko passed away, and Jamaat-e-Islami leader Matiur Rahman Nizami was executed for war crimes.
This article was first published on banglatribune.com