The High Court on Wednesday scrapped a plea filed by BNP chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia challenging the lower court order that indicted her in Niko graft case, meaning the case proceedings against the former prime minister will continue.
A High Court division bench comprising Justice Mustafa Zaman Islam and Justice Md Aminul Islam passed the order after holding hearing on the petition filed by Begum Khaleda Zia. The High Court rejected Khaleda Zia’s plea. Now the testimony will continue in the case at the lower court, Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) counsel Md Khurshid Alam Khan said.
Senior jurist AJ Mohammad Ali and Barrister Kaiser Kamal moved the plea before the court, while senior advocate Md Khurshid Alam Khan stood for ACC. Additional Attorney General Mohammad Mehedi Hasan Chowdhury argued for the state.
The anti-graft body filed the case against five including Begum 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 a incurring loss of more than Taka 13 thousand crore to state exchequer by signing that deal.
Dhaka Special Judge's Court-9 on March 19, 2023, framed charges against Khaleda and seven others. 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.
Counsel of Begum Khaleda Zia later filed the appeal on May 17, challenging the indictment order and pleading to quash it.