Khaleda in court for Niko hearing
Thursday, 19 June 2008

Former prime minister Khaleda ZiaAgency

Former prime minister Khaleda Zia was produced in court Wednesday to face charge framing proceedings in the Niko graft case.

The detained BNP chairperson was taken from the special jail in the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban complex to the nearby special court presided over by judge Khondokar Kamal Uzzaman shortly after 10 am.

The other accused in the case also appeared in court; they include former law minister Moudud Ahmed, former state minister AKM Mosharraf Hossain, former acting secretary Khandaker Shahidul Islam, former BAPEX managing director Mir Moynul Hoque, former BAPEX secretary Md Shafiur Rahman, controversial businessman Giasuddin Al Mamun and former Dhaka Club president Selim Bhuiyan.

The Anticorruption Commission filed the case on Dec 9 last year, pressing charges against Khaleda and 10 others in the case on May 5 when the case was also brought under emergency powers rules.

Khaleda and 10 others stand accused of costing the state coffers Tk 13,777 crore in losses, by conniving with Niko Resources Ltd in an "illegal" joint venture agreement soon after the four-party alliance assumed power in October 2001.

The case alleged that Canadian company Niko was "very inefficient" in different aspects of operations, including technical know-how for oil explorations, but the deal was approved in violation of proper procedure.

Khaleda was arrested on Sept 3 last year, and faces a number of corruption cases.

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