Dhaka, Feb 18 – The Special Judge’s Court-2 of Dhaka yesterday (Sunday) asked the accused persons, including BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia, to appear on March 25 in the case filed in connection with Barapukuria Coalmine graft case. Judge Hosne Ara Begum of the special court passed the order on Sunday. Earlier, the court fixed Sunday for hearing on framing charges in the case, but it deferred the date for hearing following a petition filed on behalf of the defence seeking time.
The High Court on May 25, 2016 released its full judgement, directing the trial court to proceed with the case. On that day, the court also vacated its stay order of 2008 on the proceedings of the case.
The High Court on September 17 of the same year rejected a writ petition filed by the BNP Chief in 2008 challenging the legality of trial proceedings in the case filed by Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) earlier that year.
The ACC accused the former premier and 15 others of causing a loss of Tk 159 crore to the national exchequer by awarding a contract for operation of Barapukuria Coalmine to a Chinese company, abusing power.
On October 5, 2008, the ACC pressed charges against Khaleda Zia and 14 others in the case.
The accused former ministers of BNP are late M Saifur Rahman, late Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan, Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain, M Shamsul Islam, late MK Anwar, Barrister Aminul Haque, Altaf Hossain Choudhury and AKM Mosharraf Hossain.
Former Jamaat ministers Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojahid and Motiur Rahman Nizami, who were also accused in the case, have been executed for their war crimes.
The other five accused are former acting secretary to the energy and mineral resources ministry Nazrul Islam, former Petrobangla Chairman SR Osmani, former Petrobangla Director Mainul Ahsan, former Managing Director of Barapukuria Coal Mine Company Limited (BCMCL) Sirajul Islam, and Hosaf Group Chairman Moazzem Hossain.
Of the accused, Mannan and Saifur died while Nizami and Mojahid were executed and Sirajul Islam is on the run. – Special Correspondent