A Dhaka court yesterday asked BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia to appear before it on April 13 in connection with the Gatco graft case.
Judge Abu Ahmed Jomadar of Special Judge Court-3 passed the order after receiving copy of the High Court's February 15 verdict that had rejected two petitions filed by Khaleda challenging the legality of trial proceedings in the corruption case.
The HC had also ordered the BNP chief to surrender before the trial court within two months from the day of receipt of the verdict copy.
On September 2, 2007, the Anti-Corruption Commission lodged the case with Tejgaon Police Station against Khaleda, her youngest son Arafat Rahman Koko, Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Motiur Rahman Nizami and 10 others. The case was filed under the Emergency Powers Rules.
Of the accused, Koko, former BNP secretary general Abdul Mannan Bhuiyan and former finance minister M Saifur Rahman died.
According to the case statement, there was corruption in the awarding of a contract to Global Agro Trade (Pvt) Company Ltd (Gatco) for container management at inland depots in Dhaka and Chittagong. The graft allegedly cost the state exchequer over Tk 1,000 crore.
On July 15, 2008, the HC stayed the case proceedings against Khaleda and issued a rule upon the government and the ACC to explain why the case proceedings should not be quashed.
The anti-graft body on January 27 last year moved to revive the Gatco corruption case and prayed to the HC to start hearing a rule in which it questioned the legality of filing the case under the Emergency Power Rules of 2007.
Khaleda along with her son Koko was arrested in the case on September 2, 2007. She was freed the following year after securing bail in Gatco and three other cases.