A Dhaka court framed charges against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and others in the much-discussed Niko graft case on Sunday.
Judge Sheikh Hafizur Rahman framed the charges against the accused at a temporary courtroom of Dhaka Special Judge's Court-9 at Dhaka Central Jail in Keraniganj.
The court also set May 23 for deposition in the case.
Khaleda Zia's lawyer Masud Ahmed Tadukdar confirmed the matter.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) 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 in 2008 submitted the charge-sheet against 11 people including Khaleda Zia.
The ACC accused them of incurring a loss of more than Taka 13 thousand crore of state exchequer by that deal.
The other accused in the case are AKM Mosharraf Hossain, former state minister for energy, Kamal Uddin Siddique, former principal secretary to prime minister, Khandaker Shahidul Islam, former acting energy secretary, CM Yousuf Hossain, former senior assistant secretary of the Energy and Mineral Resources Department, Meer Moynul Haque, former senior general manager of Bapex, Shafiur Rahman, former secretary of Bapex, Giasuddin Al Mamun, managing director of One Group, Selim Bhuiyan, chairman and managing director of International Travel Corporation, and Kashem Sharif, vice president (South Asia) of Niko Resources Bangladesh Ltd.
Meanwhile, three of the accused– Barrister Moudud Ahmed, who was in the BNP standing committee, AKM Mosharraf Hossain, former state minister for energy, and Md Shafiru Rahman, for secretary of the state-owned Bangladesh Petroleum Exploration and Production Company Limited (Bapex) – died and the charges against them were dropped.
BDST: 1602 HRS, MAR 19, 2023