Haji Salim likely to surrender before court in afternoon

Awami League lawmaker Haji Mohammad SalimFile photo

Ruling Awami League lawmaker Haji Mohammad Salim, whose recent foreign trip allegedly for treatment despite conviction in a graft case sparked huge criticism, is set to surrender before a court Sunday afternoon, reports news agency UNB.

Syed Ahmed Raza, a counsel of Haji Salim, said he will surrender before the Judge of Special Court-7, Shahidul Islam, at around 2:00pm.

Haji Salim, who was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in a graft case filed by the Anti-Corruption Commission, went to Bangkok reportedly for medical treatment on 2 May but returned home on 5 May as the visit sparked huge controversy.

Earlier, on 10 February, the full text of the High Court’s verdict was published upholding his 10-year imprisonment.

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The HC asked him to surrender to the trial court within 30 days of receiving the verdict.

The HC directed the trial court to cancel the bail order of the MP and issue an arrest warrant against him if he does not surrender within the given time.

ACC lawyer Khurshid Alam said, “After this verdict Haji Salim has lost the eligibility to remain an MP according to the article 66 (2) of the Constitution.”

On 9 March last year, HC bench of Justice Md. Moinul Islam Chowdhury and Justice Justice A.K.M. Zahirul Hoque upheld the lower court order sentencing to 10 years jail after hearing a petition by the ACC.

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At the same time, the Dhaka-7 MP was acquitted of a three-year jail term in the same case filed by the ACC for concealing wealth information.

The High Court also reduced the fine imposed on Salim by half to Tk 1 million (10 lakh). He will have to spend one more year in jail if he fails to pay the fine.

In 2007, the ACC filed the case against Salim. On 27 April, 2008, a Dhaka court jailed him for 13 years and fined Tk 2 million (20 lakh).

Salim moved the High Court against the verdict.

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In 2011, the court overturned his sentence but the ACC later appealed against the lower court verdict.

Later, the Appellate Division asked the High Court to re-hear the petition.

Irregularities of Salim resurfaced after his son Erfan Salim was arrested for assaulting a navy official in 2020.