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High Court overturns identity fraud conviction of MP Faris

Faris was jailed for using the flag and logo of the Progressive Party of Maldives.



The High Court on Thursday overturned MP Faris Maumoon’s conviction on a controversial charge of identity fraud.

Faris was sentenced to nearly five months in prison last June for using the flag and logo of the Progressive Party of Maldives after he was expelled from the ruling party.

The High Court quashed the verdict on the grounds that the lower court trial contravened the criminal procedures law. The violations included conducting unscheduled hearings and accepting anonymised testimony from state witnesses without a pre-trial motion.

During the appeal hearings, prosecutors reportedly conceded that the trial was rushed and Faris was not afforded adequate time to present his defence.

The MP for Dhiggaru joins a growing list of high-profile figures freed by the courts since President Abdulla Yameen’s heavy defeat in September’s election.

Days after the polls, Faris was released on bail by the High Court along with his father, former president Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

He was also on trial for separate charges of bribery and terrorism. He was detained for 10 months.

Faris denied all the charges against him.