A Dhaka court on Monday deferred the indictment hearing in the Niko graft case as the accused BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia was not produced before it due to illness.
Judge Sheikh Hafizur Rahman of Dhaka Special Judge Court 9 set April 10 for the next hearing — following a petition filed by Khaleda’s lawyer seeking time.On December 9, 2007, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed a case accusing Khaleda and 10 others of misusing power to grant a gas deal to Canadian company Niko when Khaleda was the prime minister of Bangladesh between 2001 and 2006.
On May 5, 2008, police submitted a charge sheet against 11 accused including Khaleda, former law minister Barrister Moudud Ahmed, former state minister for energy AKM Mosharraf Hossain, former principal secretary to prime minister Kamal Uddin Siddique in the graft case.
The former prime minister landed in the old central jail on February 8 last year after a Dhaka special judge court-5 sentenced her to five years rigorous imprisonment in Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case. Later, the High Court on October 30, last year enhanced the punishment of Khaleda Zia to 10 years imprisonment in the case.
Besides, Khaleda Zia was also convicted in Zia Charitable Trust corruption case and sentenced to seven years rigorous imprisonment by the same court on October 29 last year.