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UN rights expert convicted of corruption in Bangladesh

[JURIST] The Bangladesh Supreme Court Monday sentenced UN Special Rapporteur Sigma Huda [official profile, DOC] to a three-year jail term for her involvement in a corruption scheme headed by her husband, former Bangladeshi Communications Minister Nazmul Huda. Prosecutors alleged [JURIST report] that Sigma aided Nazmul in extorting almost $300,000 USD from a construction company while he was in office. While UN experts are generally granted immunity from prosecution under the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations [PDF text], UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon refused to extend immunity to Huda [JURIST report] in July, saying that the allegations against her "appear not to be related to, or otherwise fall within, her functions as special rapporteur."

The Supreme Court of Bangladesh also sentenced Nazmul Monday to seven years in jail. Both arrests came about as part of a government crackdown on corruption [JURIST news archive]. AP has more.

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