B'desh jails former cricket chief for corruption

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DHAKA, Oct 7 (Reuters) The former president of the Bangladesh Cricket Board was sentenced to 13 years in jail by a Dhaka court today on corruption charges, a state prosecutor said.

''Ali Asghar will have to serve 10 years in jail for (illegally) amassing wealth, and another three years for concealing the information in his wealth statement to the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC),'' the prosecutor told reporters.

''The jail terms will commence one after another,'' he added.

The court also ordered Asghar, a former lawmaker of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) headed by ex-prime minister Begum Khaleda Zia, pay a fine of one million taka, or serve another six months in jail.

The court also ordered Asghar's wife, Khusnud Asghar, to serve three years in jail for abetting her husband in corruption.

Asghar was president of the BCB for five years to 2006 when his the BNP ruled the country. He also served on the Asian Cricket Council, two years as its president.

He was arrested by the security forces in February and sentenced to eight years in jail in another case for evading taxes.

Bangladesh has been under a state of emergency since January when an army-backed interim government took charge, following months of political violence.

It launched a massive crackdown on corruption, ahead of elections planned for late next year, in which more than 170 political figures have been detained.

They include Khaleda and her rival Sheikh Hasina, also a former prime minister, Khaleda's two sons, dozens of former ministers and lawmakers.

REUTERS SSC KN1628

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