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High Court overturns Criminal Court's order to withhold Ex-VP Jihad's passport

Shahudha Mohamed
13 January 2021, MVT 18:49
Former Vice President Abdulla Jihad speaking to the press after the High Court overturned Criminal Court's order to withhold his passport. PHOTO: MIHAARU
Shahudha Mohamed
13 January 2021, MVT 18:49

The High Court, on Wednesday, overturned the Criminal Court's order to withhold former Vice President Abdulla Jihad's passport, stating that the order was unlawful.

Jihad's passport was withheld over accusations that he had acted against the state's interests when leasing Fushidhiggaru, Kaafu Atoll, for development while he was the Minister of Finance during former President Mohamed Waheed's administration.

When the Criminal Court withheld Jihad's passport over fears that he may flee the country, Jihad requested the court to review its decision, along with a submission of requirements guaranteeing his return.

However, the court refused to review the case and stated that it could be appealed at the High Court instead.

Afther Wednesday's hearing, Jihad's legal representative told media that the High Court overturned the lower court's verdict upon appeal, mainly based on the fact that the assurances he had submitted to guarantee his return could not be used against him as evidence.

The High Court decided that, therefore, the Criminal Court's order was issued while Jihad did not meet one of three preconditions for requesting to withhold a person's passport, which was "evidence of intention to abscond".

The verdict read that Jihad wanting to travel out of the country was not enough evidence to conclude that he might abscond.

High Court Judge Haathil Hilmy was the presiding judge on the case, accompanied by Judges Hussain Shaheed and Abdul Rauf Ibrahim on the bench.

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