State appeals local TV journalist case after lower court acquittal

Local Journalist Mohamed Visam PHOTO:Nishan Ali/Mihaaru

Local Journalist Mohamed Visam PHOTO:Nishan Ali/Mihaaru

The prosecution has appealed the Criminal Court’s verdict to find journalist Mohamed Visam of local television channel Raajje TV guiltless of his second charge of obstructing police.

According to an official of the Prosecutor General’s Office, the case was appealed at the High Court earlier this April.

The Criminal Court’s final verdict read that the state did not have enough evidence to prove Visam guilty of his second charge.

Visam was convicted of his first police obstruction charge last January, landing him a hefty penalty of MVR 28,000. The second charge against the journalist accused him of pushing police barricades to enter a restricted area during an opposition rally in March 2015.

Visam’s first conviction was alongside fellow Raajje TV journalist Leevan Ali Nazeer, who were proven guilty of attempting to stop policemen from arresting their CEO Hussain Fiyaz, who had been caught trespassing on Maafannu Stadium which the police had closed off in November 2015 to defuse an explosive device discovered near the presidential palace of Muliaage. Both journalists have appealed the court’s penalty.

Moreover, Raajje TV’s cameraman Adam Zareer has also been sentenced to pay a fine of MVR 3,000 for obstructing police, while their CEO Fiyaz is undergoing a separate criminal trial for allegedly striking a policeman.

Meanwhile Raajje TV has urged to withdraw the appeal of Visam last Sunday.

The local channel accused the PG saying that the appeal of Visam’s case is an act of incitation to media.

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