Haji Selim jailed for 13 years
Monday, 28 April 2008

HTML clipboardStaff Correspondent

A Dhaka court Sunday sentenced former Awami League lawmaker Haji Mohammad Selim to 13 years in jail in his absence on twin charges of suppressing wealth information and accumulating illegal wealth.

Special judge Md Sirajul Islam also fined him Tk 10 lakh with a legal binding that the convict will have to serve another year in prison in failure to pay the fine.

The Special Judge's Court-7 sited in the Sangsad Bhaban also sentenced Selim's wife Gulshan Ara to three years in jail for assisting him in accumulating wealth.

The court fined her Tk 1 lakh and she will stay six more months in jail if she fails to pay the fine. Both the accused are on the run. The sentences will be effective from the day of their surrender or arrest. Selim's jail terms—10 years for earning illegal wealth and three years for concealing information—will run back-to-back.

The court also ordered authorities to confiscate illegally obtained wealth worth Tk 27 crore. Anticorruption Commission assistant director Mohammad Mahbub Alam filed the case with Lalbagh Police Station on Sept 24 last year.

ACC deputy director MD Abu Sayeed, also investigation officer in the case, pressed charges against Selim and his wife by submitting a chargesheet to the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court for Dhaka on Apr 1. The chargesheet said Selim had earned illegal wealth of Tk 26.92 crore, inconsistent with his known source of income.

He suppressed wealth information about Tk 10 crore in the wealth statement submitted to the graft watchdog. Selim's wife Gulshan assisted her husband in stashing away Selim's Tk 4.88 crore in her ownership, the chargesheet said. Selim and Gulshan recorded Tk 59.37 crore in their statements to the ACC.

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