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Koko trial begins in absentia

Times National Desk - November 12th, 2012

Trial of a tax evasion case filed against Arafat Rahman Koko, younger son of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, began at a Dhaka court on Sunday with depositions of two witnesses including complainant of the case.
Deputy Tax Commissioner of the National Board of Revenue Shahin Akhter Hossain and Tax Commissioner Samia Akhter gave their statements before the court of Senior Special Judge Md Zahirul Haque. The court recorded their statements and fixed November 22 for next hearing of the case.
NBR filed the tax evasion case on March 1, 2010 bringing allegations that Koko did not pay Tk 52.39 lakh in income tax for fiscal years 2002-03 to 2006-07.
Koko was indicted on September 27 in absentia as he was earlier shown fugitive.
On June 23 last year, another Dhaka court sentenced Koko in absentia to six years’ rigorous imprisonment for laundering more than Tk 20 crore to Singapore.
Koko was arrested in 2007 during the caretaker government. After his release on parole in 2008, he went abroad for treatment. The government cancelled his parole in August 2009 for “violations” of the parole conditions and ordered him to return to the country, but he did not.
He faces four other cases, including one for money laundering, filed after his arrest.