Court extends remand of MP Faris Maumoon

MP Faris Maumoon being taken to Dhoonidhoo Detention Centre. PHOTO/MIHAARU

MP Faris Maumoon being taken to Dhoonidhoo Detention Centre. PHOTO/MIHAARU

The Criminal Court has added 15 days to the remand of Dhiggaru MP Faris Maumoon after he was arrested under bribery allegations on Saturday.

Faris had been released after being detained for over six months last Thursday. He was taken into custody again just two days later, for bribery and allegedly planning a coup against the government along with other parliamentarians.

The lawmaker was taken to the Criminal Court to make a decision on his remand on Saturday night. After the court extended his remand by 15 days, he was taken to Dhoonidhoo Detention Centre under police custody.

The former deputy prosecutor general, Hussain Shameem, who is on Faris’ team of lawyers, stated that the only evidence against their client was the case filed against him. Shameen pointed out that the police had stated in court that they had found no evidence against Faris after searching his residence in capital Male prior to the arrest.

The state had again failed to specify any date in the case against Faris, according to Maumoon Hameed, who is also on Faris’ legal team. The state had requested Faris to be locked up for the length of trial, while his lawyers pointed out that, as per the High Court, bribery is not a major criminal offence and the accused cannot be detained for more than 15 days.  Maumoon claimed this to be a ploy to keep Faris under detention, and raised the issue in court.

Maumoon also said that despite Faris’ detention, he should be able to attend parliament sittings. He added that even if the court had not given specific orders for this, it should be done as per the parliament regulations.

Maumoon further claimed that there were two motions of no confidence issues pending at the parliament, and thus lawmakers cannot be arrested as per the parliament regulations. He expressed hopes that the authorities would carry out procedures accordingly.

Faris’ lawyers are planning to appeal his re-arrest at the High Court. They highlighted that since his arrest warrant and remand order were issued by the same judge, Hussain Shaheed, there was a conflict of interest.

In addition to Faris’ home, the police had searched the residence of former president Maumoon Abdul Gayyoom, his father, after the prosecutor general had requested the court to issue a search warrant to raid the places connected to Faris.

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