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PG Office appeals HC verdict on withholding ex-VP Jihad's passport

Fathmath Shaahunaz
15 January 2021, MVT 19:56
Former Vice President Abdulla Jihad speaks to the press after the High Court overturned the Criminal Court's decision to withhold his passport, on January 13, 2021. PHOTO/MIHAARU
Fathmath Shaahunaz
15 January 2021, MVT 19:56

The Prosecutor General's Office on Thursday appealed the High Court's verdict that former Vice President Abdulla Jihad's passport was withheld unlawfully.

In a tweet, the PG Office announced the appeal at the Supreme Court, just a day after the High Court verdict, stating that they were unsatisfied with the lower court's ruling. No further details were provided.

Jihad's passport was withheld over accusations that he had acted against the state's interests when leasing Fushidhiggaru, Kaafu Atoll, for development while he was the Minister of Finance during former President Mohamed Waheed's administration.

When the Criminal Court withheld Jihad's passport over fears that he might flee the country, Jihad had requested the court to review its decision, along with a submission of requirements guaranteeing his return.

However, the court refused to review the case and stated that it could be appealed at the High Court instead.

Afther the High Court overturned the lower court's verdict this past Wednesday, Jihad's legal representative told the media that the High Court's decision was mainly based on the fact that the assurances Jihad had submitted to guarantee his return could not be used against him as evidence.

The High Court decided that, therefore, the Criminal Court's order was issued while Jihad did not meet one of three preconditions for requesting to withhold a person's passport, which was "evidence of intention to abscond".

The verdict read that Jihad wanting to travel out of the country was not enough evidence to conclude that he might abscond.

High Court Judge Haathil Hilmy was the presiding judge on the case, accompanied by Judges Hussain Shaheed and Abdul Rauf Ibrahim on the bench.

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