A Dhaka court yesterday set February 13 for holding hearing in Niko graft case against BNP chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia and seven others.
Judge Sheikh Hafizur Rahman of Dhaka Special Judge’s Court-9 set the date as defence concluded cross-examining plaintiff and former assistant director of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Mohammad Mahbubul Alam yesterday.
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.