DHAKA: A Bangladesh court Thursday sentenced the eldest son of the main opposition leader to seven years in prison for money laundering, a move that could end his political ambitions.
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.
Rahman, who lives in exile in London, is the eldest son of opposition leader and two-times former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia and was considered her political heir apparent.
“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 told AFP.
“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.
There was no immediate comment from Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).
The BNP has been weakened by its decision to boycott the controversial 2008 elections and subsequent crackdowns on the opposition by the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.