Dhaka Special Court 4 Judge Md Aminul Haque passed the order and set January 1 for prosecution witnesses to testify in the case.
The two other absconding accused are former state minister for Housing and Public Works Ministry Alamgir Kabir and former joint secretary of the ministry Bijon Kanti Sarker.
At the court, the accused Mirza Abbas, former housing and public works minister, pleaded not guilty and prayed for justice.
The court also acquitted two others accused in the case. They are Md Matiar Rahman, office assistant at National Housing Authority, and Md Mansur Alam, the housing authority's cashier.
ACC Deputy Director Hamidul Hasan submitted the charge sheet against the five accused to Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court on February 16.
The investigation officer also appealed for the acquittal of Md Azharul Haque, former deputy director (land), from the charges as the allegations brought against him were not proved during investigation.
On March 6, 2014, ACC Deputy Director Jatan Kumar Roy filed the case against Mirza Abbas, Alamgir Kabir and three others with Shahbagh police station for reportedly causing the government a loss of around Tk15.52 crore by allocating land to journalists at a lower rate.
According to the case statement, in 2002, Alamgir sent a letter to the then prime minister, Khaleda Zia, with a request for building a housing area for journalists, writers, artists, and cultural activists without receiving any application from them.
After receiving the letter, Khaleda reportedly sent a letter to the then housing and public works secretary, asking him to take steps as per the rules.
While the matter was under process, Mirza Abbas long with Alamgir directed the secretary to allocate land from a previously designated housing area.
Later the accused NHA officials allocated seven acres of land in the capital’s Mirpur area to the Dhaka Journalists Cooperatives Limited at only Tk3.39 crore against a market value of around Tk19 crore, thereby violating the amended Housing Policy 1993.