Criminal Court rejects appeal of Jumhoory Party leader’s arrest

Qasim Ibrahim at his last press conference before the arrest PHOTO:Hussain Waheed / Mihaaru

Qasim Ibrahim at his last press conference before his arrest. PHOTO:Hussain Waheed / Mihaaru

Jumhoory Party (JP) leader and Maamigili MP Qasim Ibrahim’s lawyers announced that the appeal of his unlawful arrest was not accepted by the Criminal Court.

Qasim was arrested Thursday night under a court order accusing him of bribing lawmakers to vote in favour of the recent motion of no confidence taken against the parliamentary speaker. The Criminal Court has added six days to his remand.

In a statement released by Qasim’s lawyers, they stated that the case was appealed as it contradicts the Parliamentary Privileges Act of the Constitution, mentioning that a lawmaker’s arrest warrant may only be requested by the Prosecutor General. But as Qasim’s arrest warrant was issued as per the request of Maldives Police Service, the lawyers requested to appeal the case. However, the court did not accept the documents submitted by the lawyers, according to their statement.

“It is greatly concerning that Qasim Ibrahim’s arrest, which was made against constitutional procedures, is declined by the Criminal Court to be appealed, and this action obstructs efforts to prevail justice in the nation,” read the statement.

Noting that, under Subject 223 of the Constitution, it is mandatory for the Prosecutor General to monitor and review the circumstances and conditions under which any person is arrested, detained or otherwise deprived of freedom prior to trial, Qasim’s legal team mentioned that they have also sent the related documents to the PG to take action against the unlawful arrest.

Qasim was arrested after Police took back his case from the PG, saying the case has more aspects to be completed.

According to Qasim’s lawyers, Police do not have any evidence other than an intelligence report against the Jumhoory Party leader.

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