Friday, April 4, 2008

Bangladesh: Sigma Sentenced

DHAKA, BANGLADESH - A Dhaka court sentenced former communications minister barrister Nazmul Huda to 12 years in jail on Thursday, and fined him Tk 1 crore or another year in prison, on charges of amassing illegal wealth and concealing wealth-related information.

The court acquitted the ex-minister's wife Sigma Huda who was accused of abetting her husband. However, Sigma will not be freed as she had already been sentenced to three years in jail in another case.

The verdict of judge Md Ashraf Hossain, of the Special Judge's Court-5 set up in the Sangsad Bhaban premises, also ordered confiscation of the couple's illegal assets. Huda's sentences will run concurrently and will be effective from the date of his arrest. Joint forces arrested Nazmul Huda on Feb 3, 2007.

Sigma Huda was arrested on July 5. The Anticorruption Commission filed the graft case against the Huda couple on July 11, 2007, with Dhanmandi police.

The case details accused Nazmul Huda of illegally acquiring wealth of Tk 7.62 crore, and concealing information regarding assets worth Tk 2.59 crore in his wealth statement submitted to the ACC.

Sigma Huda was accused of abetting her husband. Charges were framed against the couple on Dec 9 and witnesses depositions began on Jan 13.


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