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Shrouded in allegations, French national flees country

Ahmed Aiham
18 April 2019, MVT 21:55
Ahmed Aiham
18 April 2019, MVT 21:55

The French national, Jeanne Manon Moutet, sought by Maldives Police Service fled Maldives to her home country, reported French media 'Le Parisien', on Sunday.

Police pressed charges of negligent homicide against Manon, when a 23-month-old boy drowned in a private pool in the resort Huvafenfushi, as a result of her alleged negligence, on October 23, 2017. She fled the country following the commencement of her trial.

The charge, categorized as a level 4 felony by the Penal Code, carries a sentence of imprisonment for no more than four years and can be fined a maximum of MVR 200,000.

Although she was employed as a catering coordinator at the time, the resort management requested her to work as a "babysitter" for three children of a wealthy Irish family.

The boy was one of three siblings, brother to two sisters aged eight and four.

As per Manon's statement to the police investigation, she attributed negligence by the resort management over the death of the child.

"When the parents of the children had expressly specified the opposite to the management of the hotel, Manon finds herself alone in charge of the three children", stated 'Le Parisien'.

"After one week of investigation, I am made to sign papers in Maldivian that I do not understand. In reality, these are papers that say that I am accused of being responsible for the death of the boy but I am told that I am only suspected". - Manon

Her legal counsel, provided by her employers, was the attorney that represents the resort, which Manon suspects was a conflict of interest.

The lawyer then withdrew from the case only a few days before the first preliminary hearing.

However, the resort was able to provide her with legal representation with less than 24 hrs before the trial commenced.

Major allegations against a Criminal Court Judge

During the interview, Manon alleged that a Criminal Court judge presiding over the case had requested her personal number during a meeting between two hearings.

"I tell myself that maybe he wants to explain to me why there is going to be a new hearing. But I will quickly understand that his intentions are quite different", said Manon.

A screenshot of the conversation between the two parties was published in the French news, which indicated the judge declaring his intention to visit Manon at her resort.

Exfiltration

Although her passport was previously confiscated, following the fifth preliminary hearing of her trial, the presiding judge awarded her with a few days of "holiday".

According to the report, her family was hatching an escape plan for several months, finally coming into fruition when she was allowed to leave for holidays.

Leaving for an island south of the archipelago, and armed with a satellite phone as her only means of communication, she waited for two days before receiving the fateful call. She then waited for the boat to arrive.

In order to secure her freedom, the young woman disguised herself as one of the crew members and journeyed for 17 days on international waters before making landfall in France.

"These 14 months in "prison" put me in the wheel, I do not have letters of recommendation... I am afraid", said Manon.

"These events have destroyed my life, but it is amazing to be alive today. I am happy to be in a country where we have rights and freedoms".

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