Testimony begins in Niko graft case against Khaleda, others

A court in Dhaka today, Tuesday started recording deposition of prosecution witnesses in Niko graft case against BNP chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia and seven others, reports BSS.

Plaintiff of the case and then assistant director of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) started testifying as the first PW at Dhaka Special Judge's Court-9 at Dhaka Central Jail in Keraniganj.

At the end of Tuesday’s proceedings, judge Sheikh Hafizur Rahman adjourned the hearing till 20 June as the witness failed to conclude his deposition.

The court framed charges against the accused on 19 March 2023. Khaleda, who is now out on bail, had pleaded not guilty through her lawyer Masud Ahmed Talukder on that day.

The anti-graft body 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.

The ACC submitted the charge-sheet against 11 people, including Khaleda Zia on 5 May 2008. The ACC accused them of causing a loss of more than Tk 130 billion (13,000 crore) to state exchequer by signing that deal.

The other accused in the case include barrister Moudud Ahmed, AKM Mosharraf Hossain, Kamal Uddin Siddiqui and Gias Uddin Al Mamun.