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Hasina Charge hearing deferred to Tuesday PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 08 January 2008

Staff Correspondent
The hearing on framing of charges in the ‘extortion’ case against the detained former prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, was further deferred to Tuesday, as she again failed to appear in the court on Sunday due to illness.

As the trial court resumed in the morning in the makeshift courtroom on the Jatiya Sangsad complex, Dhaka metropolitan sessions judge Azizul Haque, citing a report submitted by the jail authorities, said Hasina could not be brought to the court as she had an attack of vertigo and headache.

Hasina’s cousin, detained former health minister Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, also an accused in the case, was produced in court on the day.

As the court deferred the hearing, the defence counsels on Sunday did not submit the petition for discharge of Hasina and Selim from the Tk 2.99 crore ‘extortion’ case.

Earlier on January 1, the hearing could not be held, Hasina, also the Awami League president, failed to appear in the court because of illness and the court posted for January 6 the submission of the formal application seeking their discharge.

Hasina’s counsel Shafique Ahmed old reporters, ‘The petition is ready and we will move it during the next hearing in the case.’

The state prosecution on December 26, 2007 proposed charges against Hasina, her sister Sheikh Rehana and Selim in the case.

East Coast Trading Private Ltd managing director Azam J Chowdhury filed the case on June 13 with the Gulshan police, accusing Hasina and Sheikh Selim of taking Tk 2.99 crore from him in bribe during the 1996–2001 Awami League rule for awarding the contract for installation of a power plant at Siddhirganj.

Hasina was arrested at Sudha Sadan in Dhaka on July 16 and the charge sheet was filed on July 24 against Hasina, Selim and Rehana, although Rehana was not named in the first information report filed by Azam.

A supplementary charge sheet was filed with the court on December 2, indicting the three in the case under Section 384 of the Penal Code.

The original charge sheet pressed charges against them under Section 385 for ‘bullying’ Azam into paying the ‘kickback’.

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