Haji Salim's leave-to-appeal petition's hearing 23 Oct

Haji Salim

The Appellate Division on Monday set 23 October to conduct the hearing on the leave-to-appeal petition of Awami League (AL) lawmaker Haji Salim against the High Court (HC) verdict upholding the 10 years of imprisonment in a case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) over amassing wealth beyond known sources.

At the same time, the bail petition of Haji Salim has been enlisted in their cause list. A three-member bench of the Appellate Division led by chief justice Hasan Foyes Siddique passed the order.

Senior lawyer Mohammad Sayeed Ahmed attended the hearing in favour of Haji Salim while senior lawyer Kurshid Alam Khan represented the ACC.

Sayeed Ahmed told Prothom Alo that the leave-to-appeal hearing was adjourned. The court set 23 October to conduct the hearing on leave-to-appeal petition – a day when the bail plea of the AL lawyer will be heard.

On 1 July, the AL leader, who was convicted for 10 years in the corruption case, was released on parole for five and half hours for attending the namaj-e-janaza of his elder brother Haji Kayes.

Before that Salim left the country for Thailand secretly despite being convicted – which sparked criticisms from all quarters – questioning whether a convicted person can leave the country.

Earlier on 10 February, the full text of the High Court’s verdict was published upholding the 10-year imprisonment sentence of Haji Salim in this graft case.

The top court ordered him to surrender before the Dhaka Special Judge Court-7 within 30 days of receiving the verdict.

A lawmaker from Dhaka-7 constituency, Haji Salim had been behind bars for a month in this case 13 years ago but he was later walked out of jail on bail. In the meantime, he was elected MP twice.

On 24 September 2007, the ACC filed a case against Haji Salim and his wife Gulshan Ara on allegations of amassing wealth beyond known sources and concealing information in their wealth statements.

The trial court delivered its verdict on 27 April 2008, sentencing Haji Salim to 13 years in jail. He faced 10-year imprisonment on charges of amassing wealth beyond known sources and a fine of Tk 1 million (10 lakh). Failure to pay the fine will result in an additional year of imprisonment.

He faced another three-year imprisonment for concealing information in his wealth statement. The verdict said Haji Salim will serve both sentences simultaneously.