Legal Politics

Court rejects plea to suspend MP Faris’s identity fraud trial

MP Faris Maumoon’s legal team is preparing to appeal the criminal court’s rejection of a plea to temporarily suspend the detained opposition lawmaker’s identity fraud trial.

At a preliminary hearing Sunday morning, Judge Ibrahim Ali announced that the trial will commence on October 8 after a mandatory 30-day period required by the new criminal procedures law. But further preliminary hearings may be scheduled before the trial begins, he added.

The judge also rejected six pre-trial motions filed by the defence lawyers, including an objection to the lack of a regulation governing the conduct of trials as mandated by the new criminal procedures law.

“The absence of this regulation affects the right to a fair trial. The criminal court does not have the authority to frame this regulation because the criminal procedures law clearly states it is the responsibility of the Supreme Court,” defence lawyer Maumoon Hameed told the press Sunday evening.

The criminal procedures law, which came into force on July 2, gives the apex court three months to publish the regulations. But the judge ruled that a temporary suspension of the trial was not in the public interest as it could bring the criminal justice system to a standstill.

Hameed said the legal team has asked the court for documents “to go for an appeal without further delays”.

Faris, the son of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and the MP for the Dhiggaru constituency, was arrested on July 18 on a separate charge of attempting to bribe lawmakers.

He was charged with identity fraud over the use of the flag and the logo of the ruling Progressive Party of Maldives at a joint opposition press conference.

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Source URL:  Maldives Independent

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