A Chattogram court Thursday framed charges against six persons, including BNP Joint Secretary General Aslam Chowdhury, his wife and two brothers, in a case filed over embezzlement of Tk325.76 crore in bank loans.
Chattogram Divisional Special Judge Munshi Abdul Majid on Thursday ordered to begin the trial of the case after framing charges against them.
The BNP leader has been in jail for the last six years in a sedition case.
Apart from Aslam Chowdhury, the other accused in the money embezzlement case are Rising Steel Mills (RSM) Managing Director Amjad Hossain Chowdhury, RSM Director Jasim Uddin Chowdhury, Aslam's wife and RSM Chairman Jamila Nazneen Maola, former Deputy Managing Director (Head of Credit) of AB Bank Badrul Haque Khan and former Managing Director of AB Bank M Fazlur Rahman.
Anti-Corruption Commission's (ACC) lawyer Kazi Sanwar Hossain Lavlu said, "Although the ACC submitted the chargesheet in the case on 6 August 2016, starting of the trial got stuck after the accused filed an appeal. Later, the barrier was removed following an appeal of the state to the Appellate Division. Charges have been framed against six accused including Aslam Chowdhury today. The court has ordered to start hearing the testimony from 2 March."
"Aslam Chowdhury, who was present in the court, was granted bail in the case, but he was shown arrested after the trial began. However, his wife's bail has been cancelled. Besides, his two brothers and two other accused are already on the run," he added.
According to ACC sources, Rising Steel Limited of Sitakunda in Chattogram did not repay the Tk325.76 crore loan, taken against three letters of credit (LCs) between 2011 and 2013 from the Agrabad branch of AB Bank.
Aslam Chowdhury was arrested on 15 May 2016 from Kuril area in the capital. He was accused in a sedition case after his photo with Mendi N Safadi, a member of Israel's Likud Party, went viral on social media.
A number of 26 cases, on charges of sedition and sabotage, were filed against Aslam Chowdhury with different police stations of the country. Among those, trial of four cases filed in Chattogram has started.