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A lower court in Dhaka on Tuesday set 2 March to hold a hearing on charge framing in Niko graft case against BNP chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia and others, reports BSS.

Judge Sheikh Hafizur Rahman of Dhaka 9th special judge court passed the
order this morning at the newly built courtroom in front of Keraniganj
central jail.

Tuesday was fixed for holding hearing on charge framing in the case, but
prime accused Begum Khaleda Zia failed to appear before the court on health ground and made her lawyers plead for time.

Allowing the defence plea, the court then adjourned the hearing till 2 March.

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed the case against five including
Begum Khaleda Zia with Tejgaon police station on 9 December 2007, for abusing power in signing a deal with Canadian company Niko for exploring and extracting gas.

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The ACC on 5 May in 2008, submitted the charge-sheet against 11 including
Khaleda Zia.

The other accused in the case are BNP standing committee member lawyer Moudud Ahmed, former state minister for energy AKM Mosharraf Hossain, then principal secretary to the prime minister Kamal Uddin Siddiqui, former acting secretary at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources Khandaker Shahidul Islam, former senior assistant secretary CM Yusuf Hossain, Former Bapex general manager Mir Moinul Haque, former Bapex secretary Mohammad Shafiur Rahman, businessman Gias Uddin Al Mamun, former Bagerhat MP MAH Selim and Niko’s vice president for South Asia Kashem Sharif.

The ACC accused them of incurring a loss of more than Tk 130 billion of state exchequer by that deal.

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