Second imprisonment of Faris was legal: High Court

son of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, Faris Gayoom. | Photo: Maldives Times.

Malé, Maldives – High Court has ruled that the second imprisonment of former parliament representative of Meemu Atoll’s Dhiggaru constituency, Ahmed Faris Maumoon was legal.

On March 2017, son of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, Faris Gayoom was arrested over accusations of bribing a parliamentarian regarding a no-confidence motion against the then-Speaker of Parliament Abdulla Maseeh.

After he was released on January 2018, Faris was again arrested by the Police only two days after six months in custody over additional accusations of bribing MPs. For this, the Criminal Court had ruled to imprison Faris for 15 days.

High Court announced yesterday after over three years of Faris’s imprisonment that Faris was imprisoned after the High Court had received enough evidence against the accusations that were put on him. Clearing out that although the rules of the parliament states that an MP cannot be imprisoned while a he has presented a no confidence motion to the parliament, the rule also mentions that it does not fully restrict the High Court from imprisoning the individual.

The verdict announced with all of the three judges of the High Court bench in favor of it, stated that the second imprisonment of Faris does not have to be discarded. The three judges were Judge Hassan Shareef, Judge Fathimath Faruheeza and Judge Abdullah Hameedh.

While Faris was imprisoned for 15 days on, he was  released along with all the politicians in custody, under the controversial ruling by Supreme Court on February 1, 2018. However, he was against arrested for the third time two days later, under the State of Emergency declared in the country at the time. In his third arrest, he faced terrorism charges with the allegation of attempting a coup.

Faris was held captive till his verdict was announced, until President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih took office after the 2018 presidential elections, after which the terrorism and bribery charges against him were dropped.

Faris was also annulled with a prison sentence of four months and 24 days by the High Court later on by the Criminal Court for using the flag and logo of the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) without permission.