A Dhaka court yesterday again deferred the hearing on charge framing against BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia and eight others in the Barapukuria coalmine graft case till February 26.
On November 27 last year, the same court had deferred the hearing on charge framing till yesterday.
Judge ASM Ruhul Imran of Special Judge's Court-2 of Dhaka passed the order after Khaleda's lawyer Ziauddin Zia submitted a petition seeking adjournment of the hearing.
Another accused Barrister Aminul Haque’s lawyer also filed a time petition with the court.
According to the case statement, the former premier and 15 others are accused of causing a loss of Tk 159 crores to the state exchequer by awarding a contract for operation of Barapukuria coalmine to a Chinese company between June 2003 and June 2005, abusing power.
On February 2008, ACC filed the case with Shahbagh Police Station accusing 16 people including Khaleda and framed charges against them on October 5, 2008. Later on October 16 the same year, the HC stayed for three months the proceedings in the graft case.
Subsequently on September 17 2015, HC rejected a writ petition filed by Khaleda in 2008 challenging the legality of trial proceedings against her in the case.
On May 25, 2016, HC released its full judgement, directing the trial court to proceed with the corruption case. On that day, the court also vacated its 2008 stay order on the case proceedings.
During the hearing yesterday, Public Prosecutor of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Mosharraf Hossain Kajol said they could not do the hearing on charge framing due to a High Court stay order on the trial proceedings.
Meanwhile, seven persons including former finance minister Saifur Rahman were dropped from charge sheet following their deaths.