[JURIST] Harris Chowdhury, political secretary to former Bangladeshi Prime Minister Khaleda Zia [Virtual Bangladesh profile], was sentenced to three years incarceration on Monday on extortion and bribery charges. Chowdhury is the first senior political official of the former Bangladesh government, which was removed from power during the declaration of a state of emergency [JURIST report] in January, to be sentenced by the interim government. The trial was conducted by the special anti-corruption court set up by the interim government to remove all corruption from the country before it holds new elections. Chowdhury is in hiding from the interim government and his defense team has said that they will appeal the conviction.
Transparency International [advocacy website], which documents government corruption throughout the world, has routinely listed Bangladesh [JURIST news archive] as one of the most corrupt governments on the planet. BBC News has more.