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Deposition deferred in Khaleda Zia's graft cases

Deposition deferred in Khaleda Zias graft cases

Dhaka: A court Sunday set a new date for deposition by witnesses in two graft cases against former prime minister Khaleda Zia and accepted her plea for more time.

A testimony hearing the Zia Orphanage Trust and Zia Charitable Trust cases filed by the anti-corruption commission was scheduled for Sunday, bdnews24 reported.

Anti-corruption commission (ACC) Deputy Director Harun-ur-Rashid, plaintiff in the cases against Zia, who is also the chairman of the Bangladesh National Party (BNP), was present to depose but the latest order has shifted his testimony Nov 24.

Basudev Roy of Dhaka's Third Metropolitan Special Judges Court gave the order in Zia's presence.

Zia, accused of embezzling over Tk 50 million (about $64,600), arrived at the temporarily set up court on the field next to Bakshibazar's government Aliya Madrasa.

Her lawyers cited two 'leave to appeal' petitions awaiting hearings in the high court and sought more time before witnesses were heard.

The judge accepted the plea. Zia last appeared in court Sep 3.

On Sep 22, the court rejected her plea for more time and began hearing witnesses in her absence.

Judge Basudev Roy had indicted Zia in both the cases March 19.

In 2008, the ACC filed the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case against six people, including the former prime minister and her son Tarique Rahman, accusing them of siphoning off Tk 21 million (about $2,71,600) from funds meant for the trust, which came from a foreign bank.

In 2011, the ACC sued the BNP chief and three others for pocketing Tk 31.5 million (about $4,07,300) of the Zia Charitable Trust.

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