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Court releases three lawmakers, ex-police commissioner

25 September 2018, MVT 16:24
Kinbidhoo MP Abdulla Riyaz speaks to the press after the Criminal Court releases him from detention. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED/MIHAARU
25 September 2018, MVT 16:24

Three jailed opposition lawmakers and former Commissioner of Police were released by the Criminal Court on Monday.

Kinbidhoo MP Abdulla Riyaz, Dhangethi MP Ilham Ahmed, Machangolhi MP Abdulla Sinan and former Commissioner of Police Ahmed Areef were released after the court’s decision to remand them was submitted for review.

A large crowd including family members of the detainees were gathered in front of the Criminal Court since early Monday evening. They celebrated the release of MP Abdulla Riyaz at 6 p.m. while the remaining were released later that evening.

Maldives Police Service (MPS) has not raised any objections over the release of the lawmakers, who were remanded on request of the state.

The parliamentarians were arrested in the crackdown during the state of emergency declared last February, after the Supreme Court's landmark verdict to release nine high profile political prisoners. They were to be remanded while the charges of terrorism filed against them were investigated.

Meanwhile the former CP Ahmed Areef was sentenced to jail for four months and 24 days, over refusal to comply with a court order to hand in his mobile phone to the police for investigation. Although he had completed this sentence, he remained in police custody in connection to another case filed against him in March.

The Criminal Court has yet to make a decision regarding the release of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, his son Dhiggaru MP Faris Maumoon, former Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed, and the former Supreme Court Judge Ali Hameed, who were also summoned to court on Monday regarding their incarceration.

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