A Dhaka court on Thursday set March 6 for holding hearing on charge framing in Barapukuria Coalmine graft case against BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia and 10 others.
The hearing was supposed to take place today. But Khaleda Zia failed to appear before the court because of her 'poor health condition'.
Judge AHM Ruhul Imran of Dhaka Special Judge Court-2 foxed the date accepting a time plea filed by the defence.
The other ten accused of the case are -- former commerce minister Altaf Hossain, former health and family welfare minister Dr Khondoker Mosharraf Hossain, former agriculture minister MK Anwar, former information minister M Shamsul Islam, M Sirajul Islam, M Sirajul Islam Chowdhury, Hosaf Group chairman Moazzem Hussain, former energy and mineral resources secretary Nazrul Islam, former Petrobangla director Muinul Ahsan and former state minister for energy and mineral resources AKM Mosharraf Hossain.
On February 26, 2008, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) filed the graft case against Khaleda Zia and 15 others with Shahbagh police station.
They were accused of causing a loss of Tk 159 crore to the state exchequer by awarding a contract for operation of Barapukuria Coalmine to a Chinese company through abuse of power.
Of the 16 accused, six have already died and their names are expected to be dropped from the case during framing of the charges.
Khaleda is in jail since February 8, 2018, the day she was convicted in a graft case. She was shifted to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Hospital on April 1, 2019.
On Mar 25 last year, following the outbreak of coronavirus in the country, the government suspended Khaleda’s jail term by executive order and released Khaleda for six months on the conditions that she would receive treatment at home and not travel abroad.
Later, the suspension of the prison term was extended by another six months.
BDST: 1744 HRS, JAN 20, 2022