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Niko graft: Court summons 2 foreign witnesses

A court in Dhaka on Thursday summoned two foreigners to testify against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and seven others in the Niko graft case.

The foreign officials are Kelvin Duggan and Lloyd Schoepp of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Judge Sheikh Hafizur Rahman of Dhaka Special Judge’s Court-9 asked them to appear on October 30 to testify.

A Dhaka court on September 17 allowed the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to produce three foreign witnesses – one from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and two members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police – before the court in the Niko graft case.

The other accused in the case are Kamal Uddin Siddiqui, Khandaker Shahidul Islam, CM Eusuf Hossain, Mir Moinul Huque, Gias Uddin Al Mamun, Selim Bhuiyan, and Kashem Sharif.

The anti-graft body filed the case against five including Begum Khaleda Zia with Tejgaon police station on December 9, 2007, for abusing power in signing a deal with Canadian company Niko for exploring and extracting gas.

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

As three accused — Barrister Moudud Ahmed, AKM Mosharraf Hossain, and Md Shafiur Rahman died of natural causes, they were discharged from the case, leaving the eight other accused to face the justice.