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Maldives' jailed ex-defence minister asks top court to review verdict

Mohamed Visham
30 June 2016, MVT 22:58
Former defence minister Nazim waves as he is escorted into the Supreme Court on Tuesday. MIHAARU PHOTO/NISHAN ALI
Mohamed Visham
30 June 2016, MVT 22:58

Jailed former defence minister Mohamed Nazim has asked the country's top court to review it decision to reject his final appeal despite new evidence suggesting that he could have been framed.

Nazim was sentenced to 11 years in prison after he was convicted of weapons possession over a hand gun found in his residence.

The top court rejected the final appeal after two pre-trial hearings despite DNA recovered from the hand gun found in Nazim’s residence matched the DNA profile of jailed former vice president Ahmed Adheeb Abdul Ghafoor.

Nazim's lawyer Husnu Suood told reporters on Thursday said the request to review the verdict was based on the new DNA evidence.

"We've asked the court to review its decision. The request was made as the new evidence could turn the outcome of the case," Suood who was the former Attorney General said.

Suood said the defence had also requested porsecutors to iniate an appeal of the court's verdict.

According to Suood the new developments have cast doubts in the case and the "prosecution needs to plug the holes in its case against Nazim."

Nazim's lawyers have also asked the police to investigate the new DNA evidence linking Adheeb to the handgun found in Nazim's residence.

Police last week had admitted the DNA match to Adheeb and had shared the findings with the prosecutor general. PG Aishath Bisam on Sunday said the DNA report had been shared with the top court.

The stunning admission by police came hours after Nazim’s lawyer publicized the findings of the police forensic report on the handgun by reiterating that Nazim had been framed.

During the press conference last Tuesday, Suood had said the police forensic report showed that the DNA found on the handgun matched Adheeb who is accused of framing the then defence minister.

The report has been shared with home minister Umar Naseer, Police chief Ahmed Areef and Prosecutor General Aishath Bisham, Suood had said.

However, assistant police commissioner Abdulla Nawaz told reporters hours later that despite the DNA match, it was too early to say that the then defence minister had been framed or Adheeb who himself is serving 10 years for weapons possession had been behind it.

According to Nawaz, several other DNA profiles still needed further investigation.

Suood during the first pre-trial hearing of Nazim’s final appeal, told the Supreme Court last week that a police officer named Asif had planted the weapon inside his room during the raid.

He also alleged that the whole thing was planned by Adheeb and the ex-Police Commissioner Hussain Waheed and had urged the court to summon them both which were subsequently ignored by the Supreme Court.

 

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