Supreme Court warns media against slandering defendants on trial

Mohamed Ameen | Photo: Maafushi Prison

Malé, Maldives – The Supreme Court of Maldives, today, warned the media on painting defendants on trial as guilty and creating content to the effect, stating that it would be considered as contempt of court.

The Supreme Court made this statement after Mohamed Ameen, the first Maldivian on the alleged terrorist list publicized by America’s Department of the Treasuries Office of Foreign Affairs Control (OFAC), appealed to the court that Ameen is being labelled by the media with an offensive title before the court passes a verdict.

Ameen’s defence said that the media is presenting the defendant in a very defamatory manner, even after the High Court of Maldives dismissed all charges against him. The lawyer also said that it is against the Prevention of Terrorism Act (No. 32/2015) to publish such material.

The defence did not disclose the name of the offensive media outlet.

The Maldives Supreme Court stated that regardless of the charges against a defendant, all suspects are innocent until guilty and media must not impede on the rights of the defendants on trial when reporting.