Court annuls major drug conviction upon PG’s request

High Court of Maldives PHOTO:Nishan Ali/Mihaaru

The High Court on Thursday annulled the case of an individual who was found guilty of dealing drugs and sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment, upon the request of the Prosecutor General (PG)’s Office.

The Criminal Court had found Abdul Fa’thaah from the island of Rasmaadhoo in Raa Atoll guilty of peddling or trafficking diamorphine (heroine) in July 2014. Mihaaru is aware that the appeal was initiated by the PG Office back then.

However, on Thursday, the state prosecutors claimed that the reason they wanted to nullify the case was because they had not followed due procedure in Fa’thaah’s case.

According to the PG Office, separate charges are levied for drug traffickers, drug dealers and individuals with a drug dependency who sell drugs. And, if an individual accused of dealing or trafficking drugs also admits to having a substance dependency problem in court, the PG Office can withdraw the case from the Criminal Court.

The individual can then be tried at the Drug Court for peddling drugs, PG Office had stated.

The appellate court, in response, had also noted that the correct procedure was not followed, and said that the case will be open for a retrial if the PG Office filed the case at a court where the latter has jurisdiction.

Fa’thaah was sentenced on March 19, 2014 after drugs were spotted near him on the floor of a speedboat he was in, which was docked at capital Male.

During his trial, he had admitted that he had a dependency problem – but he was still sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment and a fine of MVR 25,000 by the Criminal Court.

Full details are available from the link below:

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