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Staff Correspondent
A Dhaka Special Court on Sunday set January 3 for a hearing on a petition seeking permission to produce FBI special agent and two Canadian policemen with regards to the Niko graft case.
The Special Judge’s Court-9 Judge Sheikh Hafizur Rahman passed the order on Sunday.
The court also asked the all accused of the case, including BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia, to appear before the court on the same day. Earlier, the court fixed December 9 for hearing on the petition.
On November 22, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam claimed in a press conference that FBI agent and Canadian police investigations, have found involvement of Khaleda Zia in the Niko graft case and his office moved a petition to a special court in Dhaka to include two Canadian police officials and a FBI agent to testify in the case.
The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) lodged the case against Khaleda and 10 others in 2007 during the Fakhruddin Ahmed-led caretaker regime.
According to the graft watchdog, the accused were responsible for causing the exchequer a loss of around Tk137.77 billion by abusing power to award a gas exploration and extraction deal to Niko during the BNP-led alliance’s tenure from 2001-2006.
The others accused in the case are Moudud Ahmed, former state minister for energy and minerals AKM Mosharraf Hossain, former principal secretary Kamal Uddin Siddiqui, former secretary Khandaker Shahidul Islam, former senior assistant secretary CM Yusuf Hossain, former general manager of Bapex Mir Moinul Haque, former Bapex secretary Md Shafiur Rahman , businessman and known lobbyist Giasuddin Al Mamoon, a close friend of Tarique Rahman, former president of Dhaka Club Selim Bhuiyan, and Niko Vice-President for South Asia Qasim Sharif.
Niko pleaded guilty before a Canadian court of bribing Mosharraf and agreed to pay a $9.5 million fine in June 2011.