Charge framing begins
Wednesday, 02 July 2008

Former prime minister Khaleda ZiaGatco Graft Case

Staff Correspondent

A Dhaka court began formally framing charges Monday against former prime minister Khaleda Zia, her son Arafat Rahman Coco and others in the Gatco graft case.

Public prosecutor Mosharraf Hossain Kajol read out 22 allegations brought against the accused, in judge Shahed Nuruddin's special court, set up on the Sangsad Bhaban complex.

The public prosecutor, acting for the Anticorruption Commission, told  this correspondent after the hearing: "As a part of the charge framing proceedings, today we read out the 22 accusations brought against the accused along with the FIR filed in the case."

"The proceedings will continue on July 9," Kajol added.

BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia was earlier taken to the court shortly after 10am from the nearby special jail. Her son Coco, another accused in the case, did not appear in court Monday after being exempted from personal appearance by the judge on medical grounds.

Of the other accused in the case, former ministers Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan, Khandakar Mosharraf Hossain, M Shamsul Islam, MK Anwar, Motiur Rahman Nizami and others, were also present.

The ACC filed the case against Khaleda and 12 others on Sept 2 last year with Tejgaon Police Station. The ACC pressed charges on May 13 this year against some 25 people.

The name of former shipping minister Akbar Hossain, one of the original accused, was dropped from the chargesheet after his death.

Seven people accused in the case are still absconding.

The case was initially set for trial under metropolitan senior special judge Md Azizul Haque, but the case proceedings were later shifted to the special court on security grounds.

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