The ACC filed the case against 13 people in September 2007
A Dhaka court has adjourned, till June 18, the indictment hearing in the Gatco graft case filed against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia – and others.
Judge Abu Syed Dilzar Hossain of Dhaka Special Judge Court 3 deferred the date on Tuesday, as the BNP chief did not appear before the court due to illness.
Tuesday was originally set as the date to hold the hearing on the charges, but the jail authorities did not produce Khaleda Zia before the court as she is undergoing treatment at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU).
On September 2, 2007, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed the case against 13 people—including Khaleda and her youngest son, Arafat Rahman—with the Tejgaon police station; for their alleged corruption while penning a contract with Global Agro Trade (Pvt) Co Ltd (Gatco) for container management at inland container depots in Dhaka and Chittagong.
Formal charges were submitted against 24 suspects on May 13, 2008.
However, of the accused, six—including Arafat, and former ministers Saifur Rahman and Matiur Rahman Nizami—have died.
The BNP chairperson later filed two writ petitions with the High Court challenging the legality of bringing the case under emergency power rules, and sought a stay on the case proceedings in the trial court.
The High Court on July 15, 2008, stayed the trial proceedings of the case and issued separate rulings in that regard.
The BNP chairperson has been in jail since a special court convicted her in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case on February 8, 2018.
On April 1 this year, Khaleda Zia was admitted to the BSMMU hospital as her health condition deteriorated while serving time in jail. A five-member medical board was formed to examine her condition.