State prosecutors object to MP Faris trial delay

State prosecutors object to MP Faris trial delay
October 26 17:31 2017

Delays in MP Faris Maumoon’s bribery trial will make it difficult to summon witnesses for hearings, the criminal court heard Thursday.

His legal team is seeking to reject evidence, cancel charges and halt proceedings, with lawyer Maumoon Hameed submitting 23 different pre-trial motions.

Seven are about rejecting evidence presented against the opposition lawmaker. His legal team claims an anonymous prosecution witness should not be accepted, also appealing for the rejection of testimony from three named police officers.

But state prosecutor Aishath Mohamed said if the trial was delayed it would be difficult for the state to summon a witness and that it was Faris’ interest against society’s interest.

Hameed asked if law enforcement officials could not monitor the state’s witness, adding the state had not given a reason to keep the identity of the witness anonymous.

The two sides also disputed the length of detention and proceedings.

Faris, son of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, was charged under section 510(b) of the penal code, a class three felony offence that carries a jail term of more than three years. The MP for Dhiggaru constituency will lose his seat if found guilty.

He has denied the bribery allegations, expressing confidence the police would not possess legitimate video or audio evidence as claimed.

Judge Ali Adam set the next preliminary hearing for November 5.

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