• Tuesday, Nov 12, 2019
  • Last Update : 01:41 am

Indictment hearing in Khaleda's Niko graft case on Nov 5

  • Published at 01:52 pm October 14th, 2019
Khaleda being taken to jail
File photo of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia being taken to the Old Dhaka Central Jail from BSMMU Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Khaleda Zia could not appear for the hearing due to illness

A court has set November 5 as the date for the hearing of the Niko graft case against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, and five others.

Dhaka 9th Special Judge's Court Judge Sheikh Hafizur Rahman passed the order on Monday morning at the newly built courtroom in front of the Keraniganj Central Jail. 

The hearing was supposed to take place on Monday, but jail authorities could not produce Khaleda due to her illness. Later, her lawyers filed a petition for postponing the hearing, which the judge granted, Khaleda Zia's lawyer Hannan Bhuiyan confirmed.

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed the case against five including Khaleda with Tejgaon police station on December 9, 2007, for abusing power in signing a deal with Canadian company Niko for exploring and extracting gas. 

The ACC on May 5, 2008, submitted the charge sheet against 11 people including the BNP chairperson. 

The ACC accused them of making the state exchequer incur a loss of more than Tk13,000 crore in the deal. Khaleda is currently in jail after being convicted in the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case on February 8, 2018. 

After the BNP-led alliance government took office in 2001, Niko signed two deals with Bapex and PetroBangla. One was a joint venture agreement with Bapex to develop two marginal gas fields in Sylhet’s Chhatak and Feni in 2003, and the other was a gas purchase and sales agreement in 2006 with PetroBangla. 

Khaleda Zia was sentenced to five-year imprisonment, which was later enhanced to ten years by the High Court.