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Niko graft case
Two Canadian cops testified

Staff Reporter:

Two members of Canadian Mounted Police yesterday testified in Niko graft case against BNP chairper-son Begum Khaleda Zia and seven others.
Kevin Duggan and Liyod Skuip appeared at Dhaka Special Judge’s Court-9 and submitted their testimo-nies. The defence later started cross-examining them. Though the cross-examination of Liyod Skuip con-cluded in time, quizzing of Kevin Duggan remained unfinished.
Judge Sheikh Hafizur Rahman at the end of yesterday’s proceedings adjourned the hearing till Monday.
The two witnesses in their testimonies said Canadian company Niko Resources Limited gave bribe to get the job of exploring and extracting gas in Bangladeshi gas fields and that bribe money was sent here from Canada via Barbados.
“Some officials of the then Bangladesh government instigated Niko to take refuge of corruption. We learned about that from media reports. Niko Resources was convicted in Canada over graft,” Liyod Skuip said in his testimony.
The court on September 17, 2023, allowed a prosecution plea to produce three foreigners including a former FBI agent to testify in the case.
Earlier on October 19, the court summoned the two Canadian men to appear yesterday and testify in the case.
The court on March 19, 2023, framed charges against the eight accused.
Begum Khaleda Zia, who is now on bail, pleaded not guilty through her lawyer Masud Ahmed Talukder on that day and demanded justice.
The other accused in the case are- Kamal Uddin Siddiqui, Khandaker Shahidul Islam, CM Eusuf Hoss-ain, Mir Moinul Haque, Gias Uddin Al Mamun, Selim Bhuiyan and Kashem Sharif.
The anti-graft body filed the case against five including Begum Khaleda Zia with Tejgaon police station on December 9, 2007, for abusing power in signing a deal with Canadian company Niko for exploring and extracting gas.
The ACC on May 5, 2008, submitted the charge-sheet against 11 people including Khaleda Zia. The ACC accused them of causing the incurring a loss of more than Taka 13 thousand crore to state excheq-uer by signing that deal.
As the three accused-Barrister Moudud Ahmed, AKM Mosharraf Hossain, and Md Shafiur Rahman died of natural causes, they were discharged from the case, leaving the eight other accused to face the justice.

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