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Supreme Court finds Chica not guilty on drug possession charges

Shahudha Mohamed
20 January 2020, MVT 11:30
Ibrahim Nafiz (Chica) was charged with possession of drugs -- Supreme Court found him not guilty of the charges on January 19. PHOTO: MIHAARU
Shahudha Mohamed
20 January 2020, MVT 11:30

Supreme Court, on Sunday, maintained the Criminal Court and High Court's verdict that Ibrahim Nafiz (Chica) was not guilty of drug possession.

The state charged Nafiz with possession of drugs with intent to distribute under the former Law on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances after Maldives Police Service uncovered 56 grams of illegal narcotics in Nafiz's room during an inspection in March 2008.

Criminal Court and High Court both sentenced him not guilty following the hearings that ensued.

Since the state did not submit evidence linking the drugs to Nafiz, both the courts agreed that there was a possibility of the drugs being placed there by another individual, as others also had access to the room.

When the state appealed the case at Supreme Court, the apex court also delivered the same verdict adding that there was no reason to alter the lower court's verdict.

However, the Supreme Court disregarded a witness statement accepted by the lower court as evidence.

High Court's verdict took a witness statement into account, where an individual claimed ownership of the drugs. The witness was already facing allegations in another drug case, so Supreme Court stated that such statements given to protect someone else must not be taken into account without considering all other aspects.

The apex court further stated that in the case of someone assuming responsibility for the drugs, a witness statement alone should not be enough to shift the blame to someone else. According to the verdict, providing such opportunity may obstruct criminals from receiving the rightful punishment.

However, as the state failed to provide further evidence linking Nazif to the illegal narcotics, the unanimous decision made by the three judges on the Supreme Court bench upheld the statement that Nafiz was 'not guilty of drug possession'.

The bench consisted of Chief Justice Ahmed Muthasim Adnan, Judge Husnu Al-Suood and Judge Aisha Shujoon Mohamed. Chief Justice Muthasim presided over the case.

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