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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Bangladesh court sentences 15 opposition party members for extortion
Michael Sung at 2:03 PM ET

[JURIST] A Bangladeshi court on Tuesday sentenced 15 members of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) [Wikipedia backgrounder] to seven years for extortion and three years for manipulating elections. The defendants, twelve of whom were convicted in absentia, include BNP party workers, leaders, and a former lawmaker; they will each serve seven years as the sentences will run concurrently. BNP leader and former Bangladeshi Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia [UN profile] is currently facing tax evasion charges and is scheduled to appear in court on August 26.

Bangladesh [JURIST news archive] is currently governed by an interim emergency government [JURIST report], which took power with the backing of the military in January. The government has used its anti-corruption campaign [BBC Q&A] to justify emergency laws [JURIST report], which allow detention without warrants or specific charges. PTI has more.

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