Sunday 21st Jul 2024
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Prosecutor General's Office

PGO Against Virtual Court Proceedings

The Prosecutor General’s Office decided to dispute the Criminal Court’s decision to carry out former Minister of Tourism Ali Waheed’s sexual misconduct trial online.
A press statement from the Office regarding the hearing on Monday read that the Prosecutor General’s Office denied the validity of the hearing as Ali Waheed joined the hearing from a location in a state where the Maldives does not have jurisdiction.
The first of its kind, the hearing carried out under these circumstances is not recognized under criminal law and is unacceptable, stated the report. The PG’s Office said that Justice Hassan Saeed, the judge assigned the case, claimed that the court had made the decision to proceed.
The statement mentioned that such court rulings are required to be shared, in writing, with all involved parties, and the Office did not receive the information. Justice Hassan Saeed claimed the decision was advised upon by Chief Justice of the Criminal Court Ahmed Shakeel, which the Prosecutor General has also requested in writing.
The Prosecutor General’s Office also revealed that the Criminal Court provided a duration of ten days to present all facts to the court before the hearing, which the Office had done. After the duration was announced on February 9, 2021, Ali Waheed failed to submit his evidence and received an additional five days. However, the law dictates that in criminal cases, facts presented after the assigned duration will not be permissible in court.
The report highlighted the fact that the former minister’s lawyer claimed all evidence was submitted to the court on June 10, 2021, but Judge Hassan Saeed stated it was false.
The Office revealed that despite their appeals, the Judge has yet to share documentation of his rulings on the case, Ali Waheed’s request to depart to the UK for medical treatment, and request for an online hearing.
The Prosecutor General declared that once all the documents are retrieved, the Criminal Court’s decision to carry out a virtual hearing will be disputed in High Court.