Khaleda secures bail in Niko case

Khaleda secures bail in Niko case

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The Special Judge Court-9 of Dhaka on Monday granted bail to BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia after she surrendered to it in the Niko graft case at 12.15 noon on Monday following a High Court order.
Judge Amirul Islam of the court passed the order after hearing on the bail plea of Khaleda Zia. Her lawyers filed the bail petition on her behalf. Besides, the court fixed December 28 to frame charges in the case and asked Khaleda Zia to appear in the court on that day.On June 18, the High Court Division of the Supreme Court rejected a petition filed by BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia challenging the legality of Niko graft case, clearing the way for continuing the trial proceedings.
On Dec 9, 2007, the Anti Corruption Commission filed the case with Tejgaon Police Station against five people, including Khaleda Zia, accusing them of causing a loss of Tk 137.77 billion to the national exchequer, signing oil-gas exploration agreements with Canadian company Niko when she was the Prime Minister of the country between 2001 band 2006. Later on May 5, 2008, the charge sheet of the case was submitted to the court against 11 people.
Former Law Minister Barrister Moudud Ahmed, former State Minister for Energy AKM Mosharraf Hossain, former Acting Energy Secretary Khandakera Shahidul Islam, former Principal Secretary Kamal Uddin Siddiqui, former Senior Assistant Secretary CM Yusuf Hosain, former BAPEX General Manager Meer Moinul Haque, former Secretary Shafiur Rahman, businessman Gias Uddin Al Mamun, Dhaka Club’s former President Selim Bhuiyan and Kashem Sharif, Vice-President (South Asia) of Niko Resources Bangladesh Limited have been made accused in the charge sheet of the case.
The High Court on July 9, 2008 stayed the proceedings of the graft case and issued a rule. Later, the stay order was upheld by the Appellate Division.
On April 22, this year, the High Court began hearing on a seven-year-old writ petition challenging the legality of Niko graft case against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.
However, on June 18, this year, the High Court Division rejected a petition filed by BNP Chief Khaleda Zia challenging the legality of Niko graft case, and that cleared the way for trial of the case filed in 2007. The court also directed the BNP Chief to surrender to the subordinate court by two months after receiving the full text of the verdict. The apex court asked the subordinate court to consider the bail plea of Khaleda Zia after she surrenders.
The High Court bench of Justie Md Nuruzzaman and Justice Zafar Ahmed gave the verdict after hearing on Khaleda Zia’s petition against the case filed by the ACC.  – Court Correspondent

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