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Obstruction charges withdrawn against 12 opposition lawmakers

President-elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih was among the dozen lawmakers.



The Prosecutor General’s office Monday withdrew charges against 12 opposition lawmakers alleged to have scaled security barricades to enter the People’s Majlis last year.

The case was withdrawn after four opposition lawmakers who were deemed to have lost their seats were reinstated by the Supreme Court, according to Prosecutor General Aishath Bisham.

“The charges are against all 12 MPs. The case was submitted with all of their charges on one sheet, so we have decided to review it,” she told Mihaaru.

The four former ruling party lawmakers were deemed to have lost their seats when they backed the speaker’s impeachment in July last year.

President-elect Ibrahim Mohamed Solih was amongst the dozen lawmakers put on trial. But the charges were dropped against the opposition parliamentary leader before he contested and won the September 23 election.

The 12 MPs were charged with obstruction of law enforcement for trying to enter the parliament house on July 24 last year.

They were demanding a vote of no-confidence against the speaker but were manhandled and dragged out by police officers and soldiers in riot gear. 

The obstruction charge carries a jail sentence of nearly five months. 

The withdrawal of charges follows the release of political prisoners and the return of exiled opposition leaders in the wake of President Abdulla Yameen’s heavy defeat in the September 23 election.