Arrested lawmakers to appeal at High Court

Lawyer Ali Zahir (L) and Mahfooz Saeed PHOTO:Hussain Waheed

Lawyers Ali Zahir (L) and Mahfooz Saeed PHOTO:Hussain Waheed/MIHAARU

The lawyers of three lawmakers, who are arrested over breaking through police barricades and forcefully entering parliament premises during a lockup, have decided to appeal the case at the High Court.

The three lawmakers are Maduvvari MP Mohamed Ameeth, Thulusdhoo MPMohamed Waheed Ibrahim and Villingilli MP Saud Hussain. They are three of six lawmakers who have been declared as ousted from Parliament by the Elections Commission.

During the joint press conference held by the lawyers of these three MP’s, they claimed that the arrests were made unlawfully and hence must be appealed.

The three lawmakers are accused of entering a restricted area, obstructing the executive power, obstructing law enforcement officers and disturbing the peace while injuring public interests.

Stressing that, according to the Constitution, the last decision on a parliamentary seat will be taken by the Supreme Court, the lawyers stated that the ousted lawmakers must be considered as still in place with their respective seats until the top court issues a verdict stating otherwise.

The lawyers also highlighted that the MPs were arrested in contradiction to their privileges as neither the Speaker nor Secretary General of the Parliament were notified of the arrests. They also noted that Police arrested the lawmakers only with a court order while a document is required from the Prosecutor General to take parliamentarians into custody.

Lawyer Ali Zahir added that till date, MP’s will only be ousted from their seats after the completion of all appeal process. However, he noted that the remand of 15 days issued by the Criminal Court for the lawmakers without referring to this violated the rights of thousands of citizens as well.

While the lawmakers are remanded over the risk of jeopardizing witnesses, lawyer Mahfooz Saeed noted that none of these MP’s deny breaking the police barricades and, therefore, there is no need for an investigation while keeping them under arrest.

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