Supreme Court clears way for Gatco graft trial against Khaleda

A four-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha dismissed two leave-to appeal petitions filed by Khaleda seeking stay on the trial proceeding.

Khaleda filed the petition on May 10 last year, also challenging a High Court verdict that rejected her writ petitions against the initiation and continuation of the case.

Today, the apex court said the leave to appeal petitions filed by Khaleda Zia are not acceptable as she had filed the petitions with the High Court instead of filing the petitions under the criminal code of procedure. 

Writ petitions are not maintainable against any criminal case, case complainant Anti-Corruption Commission’s lawyer Advocate Khurshid Alam Khan said.

He also said, trial proceeding against Khaleda in the Gatco graft case will run in the Special Judges’ Court 3 of Dhaka. But, Khaleda will remain on bail in the case. 

On August 5, 2015, the High Court rejected the writ petition filed by Khaleda challenging the initiation and continuation of the case. 

On September 2, 2007, the ACC lodged the Gatco case against Khaleda, her youngest son late Arafat Rahman Koko, Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Motiur Rahman Nizami and 10 others. 

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. 

Khaleda was arrested in the case on September 2, 2007, and freed the following year after she secured bail in Gatco and three other cases.