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Niko graft case: SC scraps stay on trial proceedings against Khaleda

Dhaka: The Bangladesh Supreme Court has scrapped a High Court order that stayed the trial proceedings of Niko graft case against former prime minister and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chairperson Khaleda Zia, thereby clearing the way for continuing trial proceedings in the case.

A three-member bench of the Appellate Division led by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha passed the order, reports the Dhaka Tribune.

The court also discharged a rule issued by the High Court asking the government to explain in four weeks as to why an order passed by a trial court to continue the case proceedings should not be scrapped.

On March 7, the High Court stayed the trial proceedings of the case against Zia.

Earlier on December 9, 2007, the Anti-Corruption Commission filed the graft case with Tejgaon Police Station accusing Zia and several others of abusing power to award a gas exploration and extraction deal to Canadian company Niko during her tenure in office.

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 chargesheet against the accused in May 2008.

–ANI