The Prosecutor General’s (PG) Office, on Tuesday, decided not to appeal the lower court’s decision to drop all charges against suspects implicated in the largest recent drug bust in Maldives.
Under former PG Aishath Bisham’s leadership, the office had pressed charges against five individuals at Gahdhoo Magistrate Court over the drug bust at Hulhuvaarulu, Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll, in which authorities seized illegal substances weighing a total of 149 kilograms. The street value of the April 2019 bust was estimated at MVR 260 million.
Gahdhoo Court, however, dropped the charges against four of the suspected five, Ahmed Anil, Shafeez Mohamed, Ali Shakir, Yamih Khalid and Ahmed Khaleel, and ordered their release.
An official from the PG Office confirmed that the state will not appeal Gahdhoo Court’s verdict at the High Court, but assured that authorities are exploring other measures to be taken regarding the matter.
Gahdhoo Court booted the charges out last Sunday based on the state’s unlawful procedure of initially submitting the charges.
PGO had submitted the case at the Criminal Court one day after the deadline and then filed the case at Gahdhoo court. This was two months after the duration mentioned in the Criminal Procedure Code passed as well as after the Criminal Court had rejected the case.
The Criminal Court had rejected the case as it was under Gahdhoo Court’s jurisdiction, in addition to the state’s failure to submit the original documents of the investigative statements as required by law.
Parliamentary representative for Male's Maafannu-North constituency and Chairperson of the Parliament's Judiciary Committee, Imthiyaz Fahmy filed a motion at the Parliament over suspects in a major drug case going free over errors by the PG Office and police.
He tweeted that he had requested for the negligence in the case to be investigated and ensure the accountability of those responsible.