Criminal Court commences preliminary hearings of suspects arrested in counter terrorism operations

Criminal Court | Photo: Adhadhu

Malé, Maldives – The Criminal Court on Wednesday has commenced the preliminary hearings of the suspects arrested in counter terrorism operations by Maldives Police Service following the terror attack against Former President and Current Speaker of the Parliament Mohamed Nasheed on May 6.

The three suspects whose trials were carried out the at Criminal Court today are,

  • Mohamed Nazim, AA. Maalhos, Asareege
  • Hassan Yaaseen, no. 1326
  • Mohamed Zoomaal Zareer, Hulhumalé flat no. 56-3-7

All three suspect’s are charged with possessing a document, photo or drawing which indicates that they belong to a terrorist association. The cases of all three suspects were submitted through one single appeal form. However, the preliminary hearings were carried out separately for all three suspects, but further proceedings of the trial will continue for all 3 suspects together.

The first suspect, Mohamed Nazim at today’s hearing, acknowledged that he has received the documents and requested for 3 days time to arrange a lawyer. The presiding judge Hassan Saeed granted the requested time to Nazim.

The next hearing was that of Mohamed Yaaseen to which he attended along with his lawyer Abdullah Ali. The state recited the charges against Yaseen at this hearing. They stated that Yaseen’s house wase raided by the police following intelligence information that an attack is being planned by an extremist association in Maldives. They added that photos of some people marked as terrorists by the President were found on Yaseen’s phone.

However, Yaseen denied all charges against him, following which the state presented evidence. This includes unanimous witnesses, police reports and officer’s statements. The suspect was given the opportunity to present evidence in his defense at the next hearing.

The trial of the third suspect Mohamed Zoomaal could not be carried out at the Criminal Court today as he was not able to attend the court. The court informs that the order was initially sent to Maldives Police Service, however Zoomaal was later transferred to custody of Maldives Correctional Service. As a separate order was not sent to the corrections, he could not be present at today’s hearing.

After the May 6 terror attack, the police said that there would be a crackdown on terrorists and terrorism supporters, including those posting such content on social media and supporting terrorism on media comment sections as well.

An IED explosion went off around 20:20 on 6 May leaving Speaker of Parliament, Mohamed Nasheed critically injured while he was getting in to his car near his house, G. Kenereege, Malé City. In addition to him, 3 more people were also been reported to be injured from the explosion including the Speaker’s bodyguards and bystanders