[JURIST] A Bangladeshi anti-corruption court indicted former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina [party profile; JURIST news archive] Sunday on charges [JURIST report] that she received approximately $440,000 in illegal kickbacks on a power-plant deal while in office between 1996 and 2001. If found guilty of the accusations, made in 2007 by the country's Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) [governing statute], Hasina could face up to 14 years in jail. The court will start taking depositions on Wednesday for the case, which has been delayed numerous times because of Hasina's health [JURIST report].
Bangladesh's current anti-corruption crackdown began after President Iajuddin Ahmed declared a state of emergency [JURIST report] in the country and canceled a scheduled national election last January. Eight former Bangladeshi ministers were subsequently accused of corruption and 13 other former ministers and senior politicians were arrested during raids on their homes [JURIST report]. In a separate case, Hasina and eight other people are also accused of involvement in a kickback scheme that awarded lucrative gas contracts to Canadian oil company Niko Resources Ltd [corporate website]. Reuters has more.