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Former Bangladesh minister sentenced to 13 years for corruption

[JURIST] A Bangladesh court Monday convicted former Home Minister Mohammed Nasim of corruption and sentenced him to 13 years in jail. Nasim's wife was also sentenced in absentia to three years for aiding her husband in accumulating property through "dishonest means." The court ordered the seizure of 12.6 million taka (approximately $183,000) deemed "disproportionate" to Nasim's declared sources of income. Nasim served as home minister under former prime minister Sheikh Hasina [party profile], who ruled the country until 2001. She and her chief rival, former Bangladeshi Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia [UN profile] have both been detained and are facing trial for alleged corruption and taking bribes [JURIST report].

Nasim's conviction comes amid a continuing anti-corruption crackdown [JURIST news archive] in Bangladesh. The government declared a state of emergency [JURIST report] in January and has since detained more than 150 prominent political and business leaders. Earlier Monday, the Bangladeshi government announced plans to establish a "truth commission" [JURIST report] to bolster the country's economy by offering pardons to business people who have been detained on corruption charges if they confess and return any ill-gotten money. Reuters has more. The Daily Star has local coverage.

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