Khaleda Zia, son chargesheeted in graft case

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Dhaka, May 14 (UNI) Detained Bangladesh former Prime Minister and BNP Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia, her younger son and 22 others were chargesheeted by the Anti-Corruption Commission(ACC) here in the Gatco graft case while she was shown arrested in another graft charge relating to the Barapukuria coal mine.

The ACC last night pressed charges against the detained BNP Chairperson, her younger son, Arafat Rahman Koko and 22 others including former ministers and her cabinet colleagues.

The charge sheet was submitted to the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court in Dhaka, Daily Star reported.

Former ministers who were also named in the charge sheet include top BNP leaders and former state minister for energy AKM Mosharraf Hossain and Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer and former industries minister Motiur Rahman Nizami.

This is the second charge sheet against former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia in seven days, and the first against any top-ranking Jamaat leader since the present caretaker government took over.

The ACC filed the case with Tejgaon Police Station on September 2 last year against 13 including Ms Khaleda and her son for graft in awarding Gatco the contract for container handling at depots in Dhaka and Chittagong.

The following day, the joint forces arrested the mother and son at their Dhaka Cantonment residence.

The accused are charged with causing a loss of over 14 crore taka to the public exchequer by striking the container-handling deal with Gatco despite the firm's lack of experience and skills.

The charges also include misuse of power and collusion among the accused in violating the tender conditions. ACC investigation found Koko and Simon to have received 2.19 crore taka from Gatco to help it win the contract.

Ms Khaleda and her son Mr Koko were charged with influencing the tender process while the officials were charged with helping Gatco win the deal ignoring the tender evaluation committee's report that described the firm as unfit.

While in another graft charge related to Barapukuria coal mine the BNP chief and three detained former ministers were shown arrested yesterday.

Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court in Dhaka permitted the investigation officer (IO) of the case to quiz the four at the jail gate.

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