Malé, Maldives – MP of Maafannu North constituency and Chairman of Majlis Judiciary Committee Imthiyaz Fahmy has said that dismissing cases with prejudice in connection to procedural issues contradicts justice.
Speaking during the debate about the new Evidence Bill, MP Imthiyaz said that releasing defendants and dismissing with prejudice in major crime cases due to procedural issues when there is evidence present sets a dangerous precedent and strays further away from justice.
The evidence law currently being practiced in the Maldives was enacted back in 1976, and contains only seven clauses highlighting two types of evidence; witness testimony and documentary evidence.
Per the AGO, the newly drafted legislature expands on the subject of material evidence including forensic evidence, video footage and photographic evidence, as well as touching upon scientific findings and the results of such analyses.
During the debate today, MP Imthiyaz referred to two cases where the defendants were released due to procedural issues in major crimes.
Earlier this year, the Magistrate court of Gadhdhoo, Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll, threw out charges against the five suspects arrested in connection with a 149 kg drug bust from Hulhuvaarulu, Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll in April 2019.
Meanwhile on September 16, the High Court of Maldives dismissed terrorism charges against the alleged IS leader of Maldives Mohamed Ameen, Kariyyavilla, Maadhadu, Fuvahmulah.
Both cases were dismissed after the prosecution failed to file charges within the mandated period.
Citing this, MP Imthiyaz said that it is imperative to address the issue when amending the Evidence Bill.