The Criminal Court postponed the trial of Dhiggaru MP Faris Maumoon to next week Thursday after complaints raised over his case being preponed.
At the preliminary hearing held Thursday on the identity theft case of MP Faris misusing the flag of ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), his lawyer Maumoon Hameed questioned why Faris’ hearing was suddenly moved forward.
He noted that the preliminary hearing was initially scheduled for coming Monday and that the defence was informed of the hearing being moved up only on Wednesday. Lawyer Maumoon stated that preponing the trial without warning deprives MP Faris of his right to a just trial.
Upon the lawyer’s request to hold the hearing on Monday as originally planned, Judge Ibrahim Ali decided to postpone Faris’ preliminary hearing to next week Thursday instead.
Lawyer Maumoon further questioned why Judge Adam Arif, who was previously placed to preside over the case, was replaced by Judge Ibrahim Ali. The latter responded that it is the responsibility of the Chief Judge to assign judges to cases, adding that the reason for the substitution is not clear yet.
If Faris is proven guilty, he will be sentenced to a maximum period of nine months and 18 days in jail. However, court has the possibility of lowering or increasing the duration of his sentence, in which case the maximum period is two years.
The new Penal Code also grants judges the authority to change jail sentences to fines.