Convicted lawmaker Haji Salim returns home

Haji Salim

Awami League lawmaker Haji Salim, who is convicted for 10 years in a graft case, has returned home from Thailand.

Salim reached Shahjalal International Airport on a Thai Airways flight at around 11:45am on Thursday, his personal assistant Mahiuddin Mahmud confirmed Prothom Alo. A senior official of the immigration police also confirmed the matter.

Salim left the country for Thailand secretly on Saturday evening despite being convicted. His departure created much controversy. Questions have been raised as to whether a convicted person can leave the country.

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Lawyer of Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) Khurshid Alam told Prothom Alo on Saturday, “I think, Haji Salim is lost eligibility to remain a lawmaker after he became convicted for graft. A convicted person cannot go abroad. BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia could not go abroad on this same ground. Haji Salim, too, has no chance to go abroad. He is supposed to surrender.”

Salim came to his constituency directly from the airport and took part in a janaza (funeral prayers) in the city’s Lalbagh.

High Court upheld 10-year imprisonment of Haji Salim handed down by a subordinate court for amassing illegal wealth. The full text of the High Court's verdict was published on 10 February. The High Court asked Salim to surrender to Dhaka’s Special Judge Court-7 within 30 days of receiving copy of the verdict.