Gatco case: Khaleda ill; not produced before court

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Hindustan Surkhiyan Desk: A Dhaka court today deferred till April 17 the hearing on charge framing against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and 16 others in Gatco graft case as she was not produced before it due to her illness.

Assistant Civil Surgeon MD Mahmudur Rahman wrote this on the custody warrant placed before Judge Abu Syed Diljar Hossain of the Special Judge Court-3.

Her Advocate Masud Ahmed Talukder at the outset of the hearing told the court that the hearing should be adjourned as all the accused including Khaleda should be present at the court during the charge framing hearing.

WHAT ARE THE ALLEGATIONS AGIANST KHALEDA?

On September 2, 2007, the Anti-Corruption Commission filed the case with Tejgaon Police Station against Khaleda and several others on charges of misappropriating around Tk 1,000 crore while dealing with Global Agro Trade (Pvt) Company Ltd (Gatco).

On May 13, 2008, the anti-graft watchdog pressed charges against Khaleda and 23 others.

Meanwhile, the names of seven other accused, including Khaleda’s younger son Arafat Rahman Koko, were dropped from the charge sheet following their deaths on different dates.

WHY KHALEDA IS IN JAIL?

Khaleda Zia landed in jail back in February last year after her conviction in Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case, where she was handed a five-year jail term.

Later, she was also convicted in Zia Charitable Trust graft case and handed a seven-year term.

In the appeal against her punishment in Zia Orphanage graft, a higher court increased her punishment to 10 years in prison.

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