Dhaka, Jan 04 (Agencies): Arafat Rahman Koko, the younger son of former Bangladesh Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, went on trial on Tuesday in a graft case for allegedly laundering Tk 23 crore.

The trial of Koko, who is in Bangkok for medical treatment since July 2008, and Ismail Hossain Saimon, son of former shipping minister Akbar Hossain, began on Tuesday for alleged money laundering Taka 23 crore, the Star online reported.

Koko and Saimon were indicted for money laundering on November 30 last year.

Justice Mohammad Mozammel Hossain of Special Judge's Court-3 recorded the statement of complainant Abu Sayeed, deputy director of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), the report said.

Hossain had framed the charges against the duo in their absence and said the trial would continue in their absence.

The anti-graft body has accused them of siphoning off money from China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd and Siemens for helping them win government contracts.

China Harbour got a Taka 351 crore contract to set up New Mooring Container Terminal and Siemens a Taka 239 crore contract to supply and install equipment for Teletalk, the state-owned mobile phone operator.

Koko, who was arrested in September 2007, on graft charges and paroled for treatment abroad in July the following year, is now in Bangkok.

Saimon has been on the run since the Anti-corruption Commission filed the money-laundering case against him and Koko on March 17, 2009.

A Bangladeshi court on Monday rejected a petition of Tarique Rahman, Koko's elder brother, seeking relief in a money-laundering case.

Bangladesh's Anti-corruption Commission (ACC) on October 26, 2009, filed the case with a Dhaka court against Tarique and his business partner Giasuddin Al Mamun on charges of siphoning of Taka 204.1 million to Singapore between 2003 and 2007.

Bangladesh's Appellate Division upheld the High Court verdict rejecting a petition challenging the money-laundering case against Tarique, the bdnews24 online reported.

Tarique, the senior vice-chairman of BNP, has 14 cases filed against him on various charges. He has been undergoing treatment in the UK.