Barapukuria coal mine yard
Barapukuria coal mine yardFile photo

A Dhaka court on Thursday fixed 17 November for hearing on charge framing in Barapukuria coal mine corruption case against Bangladesh Nationalist Party chairperson Khaleda Zia and 10 others, reports news agency UNB.

Dhaka special judges’ court judge AHM Ruhul Imran passed the order after granting time petition filed by the BNP chief’s lawyer Masud Ahmed Talukdar.

The time petition was filed on ground of Khaleda’s ailment, Talukdar said.

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Earlier on 20 August, the court set 17 September for holding hearing on charge framing in Barapukuria coal mine graft case.

On 26 February in 2008, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed the case with Shahbagh police station in the capital accusing 16 people, including Khaleda Zia and 10 of her cabinet colleagues from the 2001-2006 tenure, of taking Tk 159.71 crore in kickbacks on the Barapukuria coal mine deal which was awarded to the highest bidder instead of the lowest one.

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 and former Petrobangla chairman AR Osmani have already died.

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On 5 October 2008, the ACC pressed charges against the accused in the Barapukuria graft case.

Responding to a petition filed by Khaleda, the HC on 16 October 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.

Later on 17 September 2015, the HC lifted the stay order resuming the trial proceedings of the case.