Law does not favour investigative detention: PG

Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem | Photo: Mihaaru

Malé, Maldives – Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem said that some locals and law enforcers still believe that suspects have to be remanded in order for an investigation to take place, but in reality this is not the case.

In his personal blog, PG Shameem stated that ot certainly is an easy way for the suspects of a case to be arrested and kept in custody. However, the writers of the Constitution of Maldives were far from this thought and that the Constitution supports the rights of the suspects as well. He said that in the past, suspects could be arrested for 53 days or until the end of investigation but now that regulation has changed.

In addition to this, the PG stated in his article that the criminal offence regulations constitute of how things should be carried out from the moment a person is accused until the investigation is over and the court enforces a verdict. He noted that all these steps of the investigation are detailed in the Constitution and that although law enforcers have the right to narrow the restrict some basic rights, the law prevents them from abusing this power.

Detailing how people were arrested for investigations in the past, PG Shameem stated that the police could remand an individual for seven days without any questioning and that it can be extended to 15 days after appealing to the committee appointed by the president. In addition to this, the 23 days granted by the committee and and additional 30 days passed by a judge appointed by the president amounts to a total of 53 days of custody.

Shameem further wrote that the revolution which changed this regulation came in 2008 along with the Constitution of Maldives. With the new laws, a person cannot be kept in custody for over 24 hours without the warrant from a judge.