Haji Salim hospitalised a day after landing in jail

| Updated: May 23, 2022 21:27:38

Haji Salim hospitalised a day after landing in jail

Awami League leader Haji Mohammad Salim has been hospitalised a day after he landed in jail following a High Court order that confirmed his 10-year imprisonment in a corruption case.

Judge Shahidul Islam of the Dhaka Seventh Special Judge’s Court ordered him to jail, rejecting his bail petition after his surrender to the court on Sunday, reports bdnews24.com.

He was moved to Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University around 9:30 am on Monday, said Jail Superintendent Subhash Kumar Ghosh.

“The court had ordered the authorities to follow the jail code for his treatment as he has been suffering from numerous problems.”

“Salim is undergoing treatment at BSMMU under the supervision of a cardiologist,” said Brig Gen Nazrul Islam, director of the hospital.

“Haji Salim lost his speech due to a stroke,” one of his lawyers said on Sunday, demanding a division and proper treatment in jail.

The ACC prosecuted Salim during the military-backed caretaker government in 2007 on charges of having wealth beyond means and concealing the information.

A special court in 2008 sentenced him to 13 years in jail -- 10 years on charges of gaining wealth from unknown sources and three years for hiding the information.

It also sentenced his wife Gulshan Ara Begum to three years in jail on charges of abetting the crimes of her husband.

After hearing Salim and Gulshan’s pleas against the verdict, the High Court acquitted them of the charges in 2011.

The ACC then challenged the High Court judgment in the Supreme Court’s Appellate Division.

In 2015, the top court scrapped the High Court verdict and ordered a rehearing of Salim’s appeal.

After the rehearing, the panel of Justice Md Moinul Haque Chowdhury and Justice AKM Zahirul Hoque upheld Salim’s 10-year jail sentence for having wealth beyond means, but acquitted him of the charges of hiding information.

The High Court dismissed the appeal of Gulshan Ara against her conviction by the lower court in the case as she died, while the plea was being heard.

The High Court also ordered him to surrender. Salim had until May 24 to fulfil the order to surrender but created a controversy by travelling abroad on Apr 30.

At the time, an aide to the lawmaker said Salim left for Bangkok for medical treatment and would return shortly. Salim did return on May 5.

However, the controversy did not end there. Parallels were drawn with the situation faced by BNP chief Khaleda Zia, who is barred from going abroad for treatment for her prison term in graft cases.

There were intense debates about the legality of the government allowing the MP to fly abroad. ACC counsel Khurshid Alam Khan said Haji Selim did not have any “legal option” to travel abroad as a convict.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan, however, did not agree with the ACC’s legal opinion, saying Salim’s trip abroad was legal.

Salim is a member of the advisory council of the Awami League’s Dhaka Metropolitan South Unit. He had worked as a joint general secretary of the undivided Dhaka Metropolitan Unit of the ruling party.

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