Malé, Maldives – Arshad Khalid, a lead suspect in a major drug related case was released from custody as per regulation, but the regulations Arshad was subject to at the time has now been changed, says Police.
Arshad was arrested after he was brought to Maldives from Sri Lanka where he lived on the run. He fled the Maldives after a lower court ruled in his favour after he was charged and prosecuted for allegedly importing nine kilograms of drugs in the country.
Following the verdict from the lower court, the state filed a motion to appeal at the High Court, which ordered authorities to present Arshad in front of a High Court judge.
Once Arshad was returned to the Maldives, Police took him into custody, but released him shortly after, which garnered the Police harsh criticism from the Prosecutor General’s Office (PG Office).
The PG Office issued a statement to this effect stating that the matter has been raised with the National Integrity Commission (NIC) and well as the Police Board.
In response, a media official from Maldives Police Service defended the decision to release Arshad and said that Police followed proper procedure and that no exceptions were made in this case.
However, the official revealed that following this case, the regulations in place regarding the release of suspects from custody in such cases has been changed.
Arshad’s lawyers have also spoken out, saying that Arshad was not aware that Police were looking for him and that Arshad was not in hiding in the past.
As of now, Arshad is released from custody, but has had his passport confiscated as per a High Court Order.