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State criticizes HC order against remanding murder suspects

Mohamed Rehan
06 December 2023, MVT 12:16
The suspects alleged with the murder of Nadheem; High Court held the suspects cannot be held in remand during their appeal-- Photo: Mihaaru
Mohamed Rehan
06 December 2023, MVT 12:16

The state prosecution has said that the High Court's decision not to remand the suspects alleged to be involved in Ibrahim Nadheem's murder during their appeal was incorrect.

The government presented this argument at the Supreme Court in the same case.

The state pressed charges against Mohamed Mafaz (Malé City), Ali Nifaz (Laamu Atoll Gan), Hussain Shamin (Raa Atoll Innamaadhoo), and Mohamed Karam Suhail (Gaafu Alifu Atoll Gemanafushi) for the murder of Nadheem.

Nadheem was inside Terminal Cafe when he was stabbed multiple times by a group of assailants in July 2017.

The state appealed the Criminal Court's verdict that held the suspects not culpable for the offense at the High Court.

The prosecution further requested to remand the suspects during the appeal trial, but this was denied by the first appellate court. The state contested this decision at the Supreme Court.

The state, in its argument, said that the absence of clear procedural provisions to remand suspects during appeal meant that the general procedure for remand should be applied. The prosecution further argued that the High Court's decision to hold that a procedure was non-existent when it existed was wrongly decided.

The prosecution is seeking legal interpretation for the remand procedure through the top court.

One of the suspects alleged with the crime, Mafaaz, has been held in remand for five years, which his defense attorney had highlighted at the Supreme Court. The attorney further stated that Mafaaz is now in remand for a different case.

Mafaaz's defense argued that the standard protocol for the government was not to request a remand on a case when a suspect has already been remanded for a different case. The attorney said that the state has failed to provide an explanation for their change in conduct when it comes to Mafaaz.

His lawyer also said that the law does not prescribe a procedure to hold a suspect during an appeal trial. He also highlighted that the Prisons and Parole Act does not provide any statutes about the procedure to hold suspects in remand during appeals.

The lawyer further noted that previously, suspects were held in remand during appeal on special cases.

Mafaaz's advocate argued that the Criminal Procedure Act does not recognize the need to hold a suspect in remand long after their conviction has been quashed at lower courts. Instead, the state should prioritize expediting appeals, the lawyer said.

Supreme Court has scheduled another hearing on the case for Wednesday, December 6.

The Supreme Court judges presiding over the case include Justices Husnu-al-Suood, Azmiralda Zahir, and Mahaz Ali Zahir, with Justice Suood serving as the bench's chair.

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