A Dhaka court has framed charges against eight people, including expelled Jubo League leader and contractor GK Shamim, in a money laundering case.
The formal trial of the case began on Tuesday through indictment at Dhaka Special Judge's Court-10.
Judge Nazrul Islam of the court also fixed 19 November for hearing testimony after rejecting the petitions filed by the defendants for the acquittal from the charges.
During the hearing, GK Shamim and the seven other accused, who were produced in court from jail, pleaded not guilty and sought acquittal from the charges.
The seven other accused are – GK Shamim's bodyguards Delwar Hossain, Murad Hossain, Jahidul Islam, Shahidul Islam, Kamal Hossain, Samsad Hossain and Aminul Islam.
Earlier on 5 October, a Dhaka court transferred the case lodged against GK Shamim and the seven others to Dhaka Special Judge's Court-10 for further hearing.
On 8 August, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) filed a chargesheet against the eight accused in the case.
According to the chargesheet, GK Shamim has fixed deposit receipts of around Tk337 crore in 180 banks in the country. Besides, he owns about 52 kathas of land in Dhaka, including two houses worth nearly Tk41 crore.
GK Shamim, with his seven armed bodyguards, intimidated people to extort money through tenders and in bus terminals and cattle markets, it added.
A mobile court of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) led by Executive Magistrate Sarwar Alam surrounded Shamim's office in the capital's Niketan and conducted the raid on the afternoon of 20 September.
Shamim, who used to con people by identifying himself as a leader of Jubo League, was detained along with his seven bodyguards from his Niketan office, while around Tk2 crore in cash and fixed deposit receipts (FDR) of about Tk165 crore were also seized.
Apart from the money, the elite anti-crime force also recovered illegal firearms, ammunition and drugs from Shamim's office.
RAB filed three cases – one under arms act, one under narcotics act and the other under money laundering prevention act – against Shamim, making his bodyguards co-accused in the arms case.