DHAKA – A Bangladesh court on Thursday sentenced the eldest son of the main opposition leader Khaleda Zia to seven years in prison for money laundering.
The high court convicted 51-year-old Tarique Rahman, overturning a 2013 acquittal by a lower court, and sentenced him to seven years in jail.
Defense lawyer Zainul Abedin said the court also fined him 200 million takas ($2.54 million). Abedin said they have not decided if they will file an appeal with the Supreme Court.
A Dhaka trial court in 2013 acquitted Rahman of charges that he and a businessman friend siphoned off 204.1 million takas to Singapore between 2003 and 2007.
“The high court said Tarique Rahman influenced political power to help his close friend Giasuddin Mamun to get and then launder 200 million taka ($2.5 million),” Deputy Attorney General Moniruzzaman Kabir said.
“Mamun took the money as a bribe for securing a power plant contract for a construction company and laundered the money to a Singapore account.” Kabir said Rahman had taken 45 million taka from the account.
He was sentenced to seven years in jail and fined 200 million taka, the attorney general said. Rahman will now be barred from politics unless the Supreme Court overturns his conviction, Kabir said.
Tarique Rahman lives in exile but remains an opposition figure and heir apparent to his mother, former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, whose rivalry with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina runs deeps and strong in Bangladesh.