A Dhaka court yesterday adjourned the hearing of Niko graft case till March 3 as the prison authority failed to produce the main accused BNP chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia, saying she was still asleep.
Judge Sheikh Hafizur Rahman of Dhaka 9th special judge court passed the order, setting new date to hold hearing on charge framing. The Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) filed the case against five including Khaleda with Tejgaon police station on December 9, 2007 for abusing power to pen a deal with Canadian company Niko for exploring and extracting gas.
The ACC on May 5, 2008, submitted charge-sheet against 11 people including Khaleda Zia. Accepting a petition filed by Khaleda, the HC on July 9, 2008, stayed the case proceedings and issued the rule. The High Court on June 18, 2015, passed an order paving way for continuation of the graft case against the BNP leader before the trial court.
The court had also asked the BNP chief to surrender before the concerned trial court within two months. Khaleda is now behind bars after getting convicted in Zia Orphanage Trust graft case on February 8, 2018. She was sentenced to five-year imprisonment, which later enhanced to 10 by the High Court.Khaleda was also sentenced to seven years imprisonment in Zia Charitable Trust graft case.