DOT Desk: A Dhaka court yesterday fixed February 20 as the next date for the hearing of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and ten others in the Niko corruption case, reports The Daily Star.
Judge Sheikh Hafizur Rahman of Special Judge Court-9 of Dhaka passed the order after hearing the arguments from the both sides.
BNP standing committee member Barrister Moudud Ahmed, an accused in the case, appeared at the hearing and challenged the legality of charge-framing.
“There were eight persons who signed an opinion of the ministry regarding Niko, which the former Law Ministry submitted for the continuity of the agreement so that the reputation of the country remains unharmed, but only I am facing the trial. The other seven people are not made accused or witnesses of the case,” Barrister Moudud told the court during the hearing.
This case is politically motivated and so the proceedings should be adjourned, he added.
On December 9, 2007, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed the case with Tejgaon Police Station accusing Khaleda and 10 others of abusing power to award a gas exploration and extraction deal to Canadian company Niko for which the state suffered a loss of Tk 137.77 billion.
Police submitted the charge-sheet against the accused on May 5, 2008.
The others accused in the case include Moudud Ahmed, former state minister for energy AKM Mosharraf Hossain and others.