Hasina seeks bail in Niko, power plants cases
Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Former prime minister Sheikh Hasina Former prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday petitioned the High Court for bail in the Niko and barge-mounted power plants graft cases, a lawyer said, reports bdnews24.com.

The vacation bench of justices AKM Fazlur Rahman and Sheikh Abdul Awal may hear the two bail petitions on Wednesday.

Her appeal for bail in businessman Noor Ali extortion case will be heard on the same day, he said.
"Two separate bail prayers in the Niko and barge-mounted power plant graft cases have been submitted on behalf of Sheikh Hasina today (Monday), which may be heard Wednesday," said Hasina's counsel barrister Fazle Noor Tapash after filing the petitions.
"Another two-member High Court bench will hear Hasina's bail prayer submitted in the Noor Ali case. She will be considered as having been granted bail well and proper when she happens to be granted bail in these three cases."
The bail petitions submitted in the Niko and the barge-mounted power plants cases stated that Hasina was currently abroad for treatment through an executive order.
The ailing former prime minister needed to be granted bail on health grounds. Besides, the High Court halted the trial of the two cases on July 7 and the Appellate Division also upheld that ruling, the court heard.
Hasina's bail appeal in the Noor Ali case was included in the HC's vacation bench of justices Ridwan Ali and Md Raisuddin.
As Hasina's chief counsel barrister Rafiqueul Huq appealed to the court for hearing the bail petition, the court set Wednesday for hearing the same.
The petition for bail was submitted to the bench on Sept 21.
Anticorruption Commission deputy director SM Sabbir Hasan filed the Niko case on Dec 9, 2007 with Tejgaon Police Station.
It accuses Hasina of causing the state to incur Tk 13, 631 crore in losses by illegally contracting out the Chhattack, Kamta and Feni gas fields for development in favour of Canadian exploration company Niko during 1996-2001 prime ministerial stint.
The ACC submitted pressed charges in the case on May 7, accusing nine persons including Hasina.
Hasan filed another graft case with the same police station against Hasina and six others on Sept 2, 2007, accusing them of accepting Tk 3 crore in bribe in the name of Bangabandhu Memorial Trust for awarding contracts for the installation of three barge-mounted power plants.
The antigraft watchdog pressed charges against the accused persons on Jan 11.
The Unique group of companies chairman Noor Ali had filed a Tk 5 crore extortion case on June 13, 2007 with Tejgaon Police Station against Hasina, her cousin Sheikh Helal and his wife Rupa Chowdhury.
The High Court granted Hasina bail on Aug 7 last year but the Appellate Division halted the order on August 27.
Hasina was arrested on July 16, 2007 and freed temporarily on June 11, 2008 by an executive order.

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