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Niko graft case: Indictment hearing against Khaleda deferred

A Dhaka court has deferred the hearing on charge framing against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and nine others in Niko graft case till January 14.
Judge Sheikh Hafizur Rahman of the Special Judge’s Court-9 of Dhaka fixed the date following a petition of Khaleda’s lawyer seeking an adjournment of the hearing.
Lawyer Zia Uddin Zia in the petition said the BNP chief did not appeared in the court as she is sick now.
On December 9, 2007, the Anti-Corruption Commission filed the graft case with Tejgaon police station accusing Khaleda and several others of abusing power to award a gas exploration and extraction deal to Canadian company Niko during her time in office as prime minister.
The other accused in the case are: former law minister Moudud Ahmed, former state minister for energy AKM Mosharraf Hossain, former acting energy secretary Khandaker Shahidul Islam, and Kashem Sharif, vice-president (South Asia) of Niko Resources Bangladesh Ltd.
The commission submitted the charge sheet against the accused in May, 2008.