[JURIST] Bangladeshi property tycoon Ahmed Akbar Sobhan and his family were convicted in absentia by Bangladesh's anti-corruption commission [governing statute, PDF] of evading taxes amounting to $1.2 million and sentenced to five years in jail Sunday. Sobhan, chairman of property conglomerate Bashundara Group [corporate website], left Bangladesh when the government listed him as one of the country's 50 most corrupt people. In addition to the five year prison term, Sobhan was sentenced to three years in prison for making false statements to authorities. Sobhan, his wife, and three sons will begin serving their sentences when they are arrested or surrender. AFP has more. The Daily Star has local coverage.
Sobhan's conviction comes amid a government crackdown on corruption [JURIST news archive; Bangladeshnews.com report]. Last month former Prime Minister Begum Khaleda Zia [UN profile] and her son were arrested on corruption and misuse of power charges [JURIST report], just one day after former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed [party profile; JURIST news archive] was charged with corruption and taking bribes [JURIST report]. In August, the Bangladesh Supreme Court sentenced UN Special Rapporteur Sigma Huda [official profile, DOC] to a three-year jail term for her involvement in a corruption scheme [JURIST report] headed by her husband, former Bangladeshi Communications Minister Nazmul Huda.