Detained former prime minister and the chief of Awami League Sheikh Hasina, her expatriate sister Sheikh Rehana and detained cousin Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim were formally charged on Sunday with extortion of Tk 2.99 crore.
After framing the charges against the three, Dhaka metropolitan sessions judge Azizul Haque fixed January 17 for the commencement of the formal trial in the case filed by a businessman.
Defense counsels told the court that they would move separate petitions for Awami League president Hasina and former minister Selim to the High Court challenging their indictment in the case.
They also sought a three-week time before the commencement of the trial.
Hasina’s counsel Shafique Ahmed argued that the court should not go ahead with the trial in the case, as two separate rules were now pending before the High Court that had questioned legality of holding the trial in the makeshift courtroom on the Jatiya Sangsad complex and the placement of the case under Emergency Powers Rules.
The court, however, rejected the plea for three weeks’ adjournment saying that the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court had halted the High Court’s orders that had stayed the proceedings of the case.