Male’, Maldives – Prosecutor General’s Office appeals Former Vice President Abdulla Jihad’s travel ban placed by the Criminal Court to stop him from traveling to Dubai for medical care at the Supreme Court after it was overturned by the High Court.
The Prosecutor General’s Office tweeted today, saying that the case was appealed to the Supreme Court as they were not satisfied with the High Court’s ruling to overturn the Criminal Court’s verdict. Jihad is charged with misconduct in a situation of advantage to the state resulting in loss during his time in office. The matter was underway in court when he requested to travel abroad for medical care.
Criminal Court judge Mohamed Sameer ruled in a hearing last December that Jihad will not be permitted to travel to Dubai. The ruling was appealed to the High Court by Jihad and the appeal court today overturned the lower court’s decision.
Jihad’s passport was held because the Criminal Court saw a high possibility that he may not return. The High Court stated that the order to hold Jihad’s passport was unlawful. All Justices on the bench agreed that the travel ban was unlawful, although there were some differences.
These indifferences include whether the departure ticket and submission of the official form to the Criminal Court to obtain travel permission as per the regulations and procedures of the court could be used as evidence against the party requesting to travel. The justices were also conflicted over whether the charges against Jihad were major offenses.
The verdict of Judge Shaheed states that the PG’s letter does not indicate any reason for Jihad to flee the country nor does it state a time period for his passport be confiscated. In addition to this the verdict also stated the even though the only evidence of his attempt to to go abroad is the tickets submitted to Criminal Court along with the appeal to depart the country, the state has not presented any regulation that such a ticket can be used against someone who is under investigation by the court.
While there were certain differences between the verdict of Judge Hathif Hilmy and Judge Shaheed, Judge Hathif also reiterated that there was no reason to restrict the travel of the Former Vice President.
These indifferences included whether the departure ticket and submission of the official form to the Criminal Court to obtain travel permission as per the regulations and procedures of the court could be used as evidence to order a travel ban against the party requesting to travel due to the possibility that they may not return.