A Dhaka court on Sunday set March 13 for holding hearing on charge framing against BNP chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia and 16 others in Gatco graft case.
Judge Ali Hossen of Special Judge Court-3 of Dhaka located at Keraniganj Central Jail re-fixed the new date after filing a plea for extending time of hearing on charge framing due to absence of Begum Zia for her illness.
Khaleda is now out of jail following an executive order from the government.
On September 2, 2007, the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) had filed the case against 13 people, including Khaleda and her younger son Arafat Rahman with Tejgaon Police Station on charges of misappropriating around Taka 1,000 crore while dealing with Global Agro Trade (Pvt) Company Ltd (Gatco. Next day, Khaleda Zia and Koko were arrested. The case was included in the Emergency Powers Act on September 18 on the same year.
On May 13, 2008, the anti-graft body pressed charges against the BNP chief and 23 others.
Meanwhile, the names of seven others accused, including Khaleda's younger son Arafat Rahman Koko, were dropped from the charge sheet following their deaths on different dates.
The other accused are ex-BNP Minister M Shamsul Islam, former State Minister for Power, Energy and Mineral Resources AK Mosharraf Hossen, former Minister Dr Khondoker Mosharraf Hossen, former Chattogram Port Authority (CPA) Chairman Commodore Julfikar Ali, Jahanara Akber, wife of deceased former minister Colonel (retd) Akbar Hossain, and their two sons-- Ismail Hossain Saimon and AKM Musa Kazal, former Shipping Secretary Julfikar Haider Chowdhury, former CPA member AK Rashid Uddin Ahmed, GATCO Directors Shahjahan M Hasib and Syed Tanvir Ahmed and Syed Galib Ahmed, CPA former Chairman ASM Shahadat Hossain, former Port Director (transport) AM Sanowar Hossain and former Port Member Lutful Kabir.