Khaleda Zia attends hearing on graft cases

Dhaka, Sep 10 (IANS) Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chief Khaleda Zia appeared before a Dhaka court on Thursday to attend the hearing of graft cases against her.

The former prime minister is being tried at Dhaka’s Third Special Judge’s Court in corruption cases related to the Zia Charitable Trust and Zia Orphanage Trust, bdnews24 reported.

The Special Judge has scheduled the next hearings for September 17.

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) in 2008 and 2010, respectively, had lodged the cases over siphoning off of 52.5 million Bangladeshi taka ($674,229) from the two trusts.

In the Zia Charitable Trust case, the ACC accused Zia and three others for embezzlement of 31.5 million Bangladeshi taka ($404,537).

In the Zia Orphanage Trust case, six people, including Khaleda and her son Tarique Rahman, were accused of embezzling 21 million Bangladeshi taka ($269,691) from funds meant for the trust.

Khaleda, accused in both cases along with several others, had skipped the last hearing held on September 3 citing health reasons.

Khaleda was indicted in the cases on March 19, last year.

The BNP chief had moved the high court challenging the validity of the indictment and legality of appointment of the judge framing the charges. However, both the pleas were scrapped.

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