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Dhaka Tribune

Niko graft case: Two Canadian police officials testify against Khaleda, others

  • Some officials of the then government fueled corruption, says Liyod Skuip 
  • Monday's proceedings adjourned the hearing till Tuesday
Update : 30 Oct 2023, 06:31 PM

Two members of Canadian Mounted Police on Monday testified in the Niko graft case against BNP chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia and seven others.

Kevin Duggan and Liyod Skuip appeared at Dhaka Special Judge's Court-9 and submitted their testimonies. 

The defence later started cross-examining them. 

In his testimony, Liyod Skuip said some officials of the then government fueled corruption at the Canadian oil and gas exploration company Niko. 

“Later, we came to know about this corruption by watching media news. Niko Resources had also been convicted for corruption in Canada for taking bribes from Niko,” he said. 

Though the cross-examination of Liyod Skuip concluded in time, quizzing of Kevin Duggan remained unfinished.

Judge Sheikh Hafizur Rahman at the end of Monday's proceedings adjourned the hearing till Tuesday.

The court on September 17, 2023, allowed a prosecution plea to produce three foreigners including a former FBI agent to testify in the case.

Earlier on October 19, the court summoned the two Canadian men to appear today and testify in the case.

The court on March 19, 2023, framed charges against the eight accused.

Begum Khaleda Zia, who is now on bail, pleaded not guilty through her lawyer Masud Ahmed Talukder on that day and demanded justice.

The other accused in the case are- Kamal Uddin Siddiqui, Khandaker Shahidul Islam, CM Eusuf Hossain, Mir Moinul Haque, Gias Uddin Al Mamun, Selim Bhuiyan and Kashem Sharif.

The anti-graft body filed the case against five including Khaleda Zia 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 Khaleda Zia. 

The ACC accused them of causing the incurring a loss of more than Tk13,777 crore to state exchequer by signing that deal.

As the three accused-Barrister Moudud Ahmed, AKM Mosharraf Hossain, and Md Shafiur Rahman died of natural causes, they were discharged from the case, leaving the eight other accused to face the justice.

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