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125 convicts released in time for presidential election

25 September 2018, MVT 17:17
An officer of Maldives Correctional Service exits Male Prison in capital Male City. FILE PHOTO/MIHAARU
25 September 2018, MVT 17:17

A total of 125 inmates were released from prison prior to and immediately following the recent presidential elections, under the special powers granted to the president.

According to documents acquired by local media Mihaaru, ninety-nine prisoners were released on September 10, followed by an additional twenty-four on the 24th, the day after elections.

“I have been told by the President to inform the decision to nullify the remaining duration of sentences from September 10, 2018, Monday, under conditional pardoning,” stated the Minister for Legal Affairs at the President’s Office, Aishath Azima Shakoor, in the letter signed by the Minister sent to relevant institutions.

Of the freed prisoners, most had been convicted under drug-related charges, totalling at 69 ex-convicts.

The 125 convicts reside in over 40 islands. The largest amount of prisoners released hailing from one region were from Addu City with a total of 30 prisoners, followed by 25 people from capital Male City. The freed prisoners also include twelve people from Fuvahmulah.

The majority of released convicts had 1 to 5 years remaining on their sentences, although four prisoners had more than 20 years remaining on their sentences.

Although the sentences of these 125 individuals were mitigated, the reparations owed for any damages inflicted were not reduced.

The preliminary results of the presidential election held Sunday tally at 134,146 votes (58.4 percent) for Ibrahim Mohamed Solih who represents the opposition coalition, and 95,623 votes (41.6 percent) for incumbent President Yameen. The voter turnout at this year's election was an extraordinary 88.8 percent of the eligible 262,135.

President Yameen received the majority of votes from Faafu and Meemu Atolls, while President-Elect Solih raked in the majority of the remaining 18 atolls.

The term of the outgoing president is set to end on November 17 this year.

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