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Court halts trial, allows opposition lawmaker to attend parliament

Fathmath Shaahunaz
31 July 2017, MVT 13:21
Dhiggaru MP Faris leaves the Criminal Court after his remand hearing. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED/MIHAARU
Fathmath Shaahunaz
31 July 2017, MVT 13:21

The Criminal Court on Monday put the hearing of Dhiggaru MP Faris Maumoon on hold to allow him to attend Parliament.

Upon MP Faris’ arrival at the court on Monday for the hearing of his identity theft trial, his lawyer Maumoon Hameed requested the court to grant permission for the lawmaker to attend Parliament. Judge Ibrahim Ali agreed to the request, noting that MP Faris is currently under arrest for another trial unrelated to his identity theft case and, thus, the current trial will not impede the lawmaker from attending Parliament if the defendant so wishes.

The hearing has been adjourned until the evening.

However, it has not been confirmed yet whether MP Faris will be escorted to Parliament. Maldives Correctional Service is in charge of escorting MP Faris from the trial to Maafushi Prison, where he is detained, and which is under the management of Correctional Services.

Speaking at the hearing, lawyer Maumoon Hameed noted that lawmakers that are detained under accusations are to be escorted to parliament sessions according to parliament regulations.

The judge responded that the parliament timetable was not taken into account when Faris’ hearing was scheduled for Monday. Stating that the court will not obstruct the lawmaker from attending hearings, Judge Ibrahim Ali said that the hearing will resume at 5:00 p.m.

MP Faris is arrested and under custody on accusations of bribing lawmakers to gather support for the opposition lobbied motion of no confidence against the parliament speaker.

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