Sheikh Helal, wife jailed in another case
Monday, 25 February 2008

Staff Correspondent

A Dhaka court Sunday sentenced Sheikh Hasina's cousin and former lawmaker Sheikh Helaluddin to 13 years in jail on charges of amassing wealth beyond his known sources of income and concealing information about wealth from the ACC.

The court also ordered Helal to pay a fine of Tk 50 lakh or suffer two additional years behind bars. Judge Tanzeena Ismail of the Special Judges' Court -6, which deals with graft cases, delivered the verdict.

The court also sentenced Helal's wife Rupa Chowdhury to three years in jail for abetting her husband in accumulating the illegal wealth. Rupa was also fined Tk 50,000.

Failure to pay, the court said, would result in an additional month in jail. The former lawmaker and his wife remain on the run and were sentenced in their absence.

Sentencing will come into effect on the day they are arrested or surrender to the authorities. According to case details, Helal obtained Tk 7.6 crore beyond his known sources of income and concealed information about wealth in his statement to the ACC.

ACC deputy director Monjurul Ahmed filed the case with Ramna Police Station on Sept 24 last year. In a separate case, which involves charges of extortion, the Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Judge's Court sentenced Helal to seven years in prison on Feb 12.

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