BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia will go to Dhaka Judge Court on Wednesday to attend hearing of 12 cases, including the Niko and Barapukuria coalmine corruption cases. Khaleda will appear before three separate courts–one dealing with the Niko graft case, another the Barapukuria coalmine corruption case and the other a sedition case– and surrender before two courts seeking bail in nine other cases, filed with Darussalam Police Station, said her counsel Sanaullah Miah. Khaleda will appear before the Special Judge’s Court-2 of Judge Hosne Ara Begum in the Barapukuria graft case, Dhaka’s Ninth Special Judge’s Court of Judge Md Aminul Islam in the Niko graft case and Metropolitan Sessions Judge’s Court of Judge Kamrul Hossain Mollah in the sedition case. Dhaka, UNB News Agency Reported.
She will surrender before the court of Metropolitan Sessions Judge Kamrul Hossain Mollah in eight cases of Darus Salam police station and another in the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court.
Barapukuria coalmine corruption case
Earlier on July 24, a Dhaka court fixed August 10 for hearing on charge framing against nine accused, including BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, in the Barapukuria coalmine corruption case. Later the accused filed time petition. Eight other accused in the case include BNP leaders Dr Khandker Mosharraf Hossain, MK Anwar, M Shamsul Islam, Air Vice Marshall (retd) Altaf Hossain Chowdhury, AKM Mosharraf Hossain, Barrister M Aminul Hoque, chairman of Hosaf Group Moazzem Hossain, former Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Secretary Nazrul Islam, former director of Petrobangla Moinul Ahsan and M Sirajul Islam Chowdhury.
Meanwhile, Nazrul Islam and Moinul Ahsan were granted fresh bail in the case after they surrendered before the court on Sunday on expiry of the bail period. On February 26, 2008, the Anti- Corruption Commission filed the case with Shahbagh Police Station accusing 16 people, including Khaleda and 10 of her former cabinet colleagues, of taking Tk159 crore in kickbacks on the Barapukuria coalmine deal awarded to the highest bidder instead of the lowest one. However, among the 16 accused, Motiur Rahman Nizami and Ali Ahsan Muhammad Mojaheed were executed for their crimes against humanity while former Finance Minister Saifur Rahman, BNP leader Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan former Petrobangla chairman AR Osmani have already died.
Responding to a petition filed by Khaleda, the HC on October 16, 2008 stayed the case proceedings and issued a rule asking the ACC to explain why the case should not be quashed. The Appellate Division later upheld the stay order as well, leaving the corruption case in the cold. Khaleda, however, managed to secure a permanent bail in the case on January 15, 2012.
Niko Graft case
On July 11, the Dhaka Special Judge’s Court-9 has fixed August 10 for the charge framing of Niko graft case against BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia and 10 others. On December 9, 2007, the ACC filed the Niko graft case against Khaleda Zia and four others in connection with a loss of Tk 137.77 crore loss to the national exchequer caused by the signing of an oil and gas exploration agreement with Niko during BNP’s rule from 2001 to 2006. On May 5, 2008, the ACC submitted the charge sheet of the case to the Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court against Khaleda and 10 others.
The High Court on July 9, 2008 stayed the proceedings of the graft case as Khaleda filed a petition challenging the legality of the case against her. The Appellate Division later upheld the stay order.As ACC had moved to revive the case, On June 18, 2015, the High Court rejected Khaleda’s petition questioning the legality of the case and lifted the stay order. On November 30, Judge Mohammad Aminul Islam of Special Judge’s Court-9 granted bail to Khaleda in the case after she surrendered before his court.
On July 12, A Dhaka court fixed August 10 to decide whether the sedition charges brought against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia will be accepted. Momtaz Uddin Ahmad Mehedi, a Supreme Court lawyer and member of the ruling Awami League’s central committee, on January 25 filed the case against Khaleda for her remarks on the number of Liberation War martyrs.