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ACC presses charges against Khaleda PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 06 May 2008

Niko case

The Anticorruption Commission Monday submitted a chargesheet against former prime minister Khaleda Zia ad 10 others in a Niko scam case, reports

ACC assistant director SM Sahidur Rahman turned in the chargesheet to the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court for Dhaka. Additional chief metropolitan magistrate Md Golam Rabbani received the chargesteet.

The ACC approved chargesheets against Khaleda and another former prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, and 18 others in separate Niko corruption cases on April 30.

The graft watchdog filed the twin cases against the accused on Dec 9 last year. Khaleda and 10 others stand accused of costing the state coffers Tk 13,777 crore.

ACC deputy director Mahbubul Alam filed the case against Khaleda. The case alleged that Niko Resources was "very inefficient" in different aspects, including technical know-how for oil explorations, but the deal was approved in violations of a proper procedure.

The BNP-led government connived with Niko in implementing an "illegal" joint venture agreement soon after the four-party alliance assumed power in October 2001, it was alleged in the case filed against Khaleda.

Niko applied to state minister for energy Mosharraf Hossain to close the deal, but some experts of Petrobangla and Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company (BAPEX) opposed the agreement, according to case details.

Khaleda, the then prime minister, allegedly ignored opinions of the gas experts and took sides with Niko on the deal, costing the state Tk 13,777 crore in losses.

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