Man accused of sexually abusing six minors from the same family arrested again on Tuesday, after Criminal Court ordered his release on Monday.
A 55 year old man was arrested in early April over the repeated assault of minors, and held under remand custody for 30 days. However, when the remand was reviewed by the Criminal Court on Monday, he was released conditionally. The court had made the decision to release him as he had cooperated with the investigation.
He holds a high position in a business in Maldives. Even though his identity is known, as publishing his name may lead to identify his victims, his name will be omitted from the news. Maldives' law prohibits the publication of any information that may identify minors who are victims of such crimes.
The court cited that the Prosecutor General's Office (PGO) is required to submit a letter regarding the case as a new document when reviewing the remand of an accused individual. However, in prior cases, the first document has been accepted while reviewing remand.
After he was released, police had requested for another order to arrest him. He was arrested again on Tuesday evening.
The family of the minors had told Mihaaru news that he was released on Monday even after evidence was submitted against him. The say that the man had been allegedly sexually abusing the children in the family up until 2017.
The family of the abused children had expressed concern and criticised the court for ordering his release despite the large amount of evidence submitted against him. While searching the residence of the accused, a pen-drive was found containing pornographic photographs of the minors, which was submitted on Monday.
Mother of one of the children had told Mihaaru news that the accused man was a brother-in-law to the family. She said the children had been abused up until 2017 and they had found out about the abuse only recently.
"Since he was a person our family trusted, the children did not confide this information with the family. Maybe they didn't because thought they would not be believed," she said.
The accused man had previously lived in the same house with them. However, he had moved out of the shared residence very suddenly, with little explanation.
"We did not know then that any abuse was taking place. They [the accused and his family] left our house very suddenly. They said there was an issue within the family. [We later found out] they left because one of the kids had said they would call the police and let their mother know as well. He told them the mother couldn't do anything," she said.
"We did not have much of a connection with them afterwards. They said we kicked them out."
She said they only found out they had been abused in 2019, when both families went to Bangkok for a trip. The child had refused to go meet with them when suggested.
"The child did not want to go to the place they were living. It took a lot of questioning for the children to confide they had been abused."
They had attempted to provide counselling after they returned, but due to the pandemic, only online counselling was available. The child did not respond much in the online sessions, but once in-person sessions were established, the child started responding more.
"In the second session, the child described said how they were abused to the counsellor. The counsellor then informed the police saying the case was bigger than they initially thought."
The children still do not wish to let the family know the severity of the abuse they faced. However, they have since found out the accused man had showed them pornographic films, abused them in various sexual ways, and taken nude photographs of them after blackmailing them as well.
"The police had taken the children's statements. They have said they were sexually abused."
While three of the abused minors have turned 18, three of them still remain underage.
"You can't even look at the photos [of the children], how they were taken. Police had submitted the pen-drive filled with the photographs to court today [Monday] when it was found while searching the house. Why should he be released when there is so much evidence against him? He isn't human even if he appears that way."
The family is concerned that a man who ruined the entire life of six children was conditionally released after being arrested in a serious case.
"How can the courts deliver justice after releasing the man? There is nothing more to it than the dignity of our children. What is justice here? Will a criminal get a penalty here? The court cannot give us justice."