Niko graft trial to proceed in jailhouse court

07 Nov,2018

BDchronicle :

The Niko graft case trial against BNP chief Khaleda Zia will now proceed in a makeshift courtroom set up inside the old Dhaka Central Jail.

Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs has issued a circular in that regard on Wednesday (Nov 7).

As the place becomes crowded on hearing days, the court hearing the case will now continue at room 7 of the old central jails administrative building due to security reasons, the circular said.

Until now the Special Judge Court-9 has been hearing the Niko graft case at another makeshift court on Bakshibazar Grounds.

The next hearing in the graft is scheduled on Thursday (Nov 8)

On December 9, 2007, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed the graft case with Tejgaon police station accusing Khaleda Zia and 11 others of abusing power by awarding a gas exploration and extraction deal to Canadian company Niko, during her time in office as prime minister.

The commission submitted the charge sheet against the accused on May 5, 2008.

Others accused in the case are former law minister Moudud Ahmed, former state minister for energy AKM Mosharraf Hossain, former acting energy secretary Khandaker Shahidul Islam, and Kashem Sharif, vice-president (South Asia) of Niko Resources Bangladesh Ltd.

Charges were pressed against 11 people, including the former PM, on May 5, 2008, for allegedly causing a loss of Tk 137 billion to the state exchequer by awarding the gas exploration contract to Canadian company Niko Resources.

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