PG appeals Nasheed’s terrorism conviction at High Court

PG appeals Nasheed’s terrorism conviction at High Court
August 13 13:58 2015

The Prosecutor General’s (PG) office has appealed former President Mohamed Nasheed’s conviction on terrorism charges at the High Court.

An official from the PG office, Mohamed Nihan, confirmed to Maldives Independent that the appeal has been filed at the High Court, but was unable to provide any further details.

He noted that the PG office had to seek permission from the appellate court before the submission as the appeal deadline had expired in March.

However, a source from the High Court said it has yet to receive the appeal.

Under new regulations imposed by the Supreme Court earlier this year, the source explained that appeals must first be filed at lower courts, “so it is likely that the appeal documents are at the criminal court now, they’re probably on their way.”

Nasheed was found guilty on terrorism charges over the military’s detention of criminal court chief judge Abdulla Mohamed in January 2012. The opposition leader’s 13-year jail term was commuted to house arrest on July 19.

The PG office announced its intention to appeal the conviction on July 23 amidst rumours that President Abdulla Yameen would pardon Nasheed as part of a deal struck between the government and the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).

Nasheed’s lawyers meanwhile requested the PG office yesterday to include points in its appeal, submitting a 40-page document outlining several legal arguments.

Hassan Latheef, a member of Nasheed’s legal team, contended that the criminal court’s orders to arrest the former president and hold him in detention for the duration of the trial were illegal.

The legal team also raised several procedural issues with the conduct of the trial, including the validity of the prosecution’s evidence and witness testimony as well as the lack of sufficient time to mount a defence due to the “rushed” proceedings.

Nasheed’s lawyers also argued that two of the presiding judges had a conflict of interest as they were close associates of chief judge Abdulla Mohamed.

Latheef said the legal team has not been informed whether the appeal has been submitted and accepted by the High Court.

An official from the PG office told Haveeru yesterday that the document from Nasheed’s legal team was received after the appeal was submitted. The official, however, added that the points raised by the former president’s lawyers have been included in the appeal form.

 

Meanwhile, talks between MDP and the government remains stalled with the main opposition party accusing President Yameen of refusing to honour commitments made during the talks.

The MDP has since proposed a third party mediator for the talks, but the president’s office spokesperson Ibrahim Muaz Ali told Maldives Independent yesterday that the government does not want “foreign parties to intervene in domestic affairs of the Maldives.”