Coco exempted from court appearance, Tarique seeks same
Thursday, 26 June 2008

A Dhaka court has exempted Arafat Rahman Coco, the detained younger son of Khaleda Zia, from personal appearance for court hearings in the Gatco graft case.

Judge Shahed Nuruddin, of Special Judge's Court-3 set up in the Jatiya Sangsad Bhban complex, granted the exemption Wednesday on the previous day's petition by Coco's lawyers.

Khaleda's detained elder son, Tarique Rahman has also sought permission from the same court to exempt him from appearing for hearings in a bribery case linked to the murder of Bashundhara Group chairman Humayun Kabir Sabbir.

Tarique's lawyer Sanaullah Miah made the plea Wednesday. The judge is expected to give a decision later in the day, the lawyer said.

Tarique and Coco have been held in the prison ward of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Hospital, while charges against the two brothers are pending trial.

Coco sought permission for his lawyers to appear in the court on his behalf as a medical board had recommended sending him abroad for better treatment.

The lawyers said that the petitioner was not linked to any political activities or misappropriation of power. All charges brought against him were imaginary and baseless, they added.

Coco is reportedly suffering from a number of medical complaints. His lawyers told the court that he is unable to walk due to his poor health, he has been prescribed an inhaler and oxygen and has lost consciousness at times.

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