The Prosecutor General’s Office has requested the High Court to defer the execution of a convicted juvenile’s imprisonment after it surfaced that he received the wrong sentence due to an administrative error by the PG’s Office.
It emerged last week that the magistrate court of Landhoo in Noonu atoll has sentenced a 17-year-old boy to two years in jail on theft charges after the PG Office mistakenly marked him as 18 years of age. Under Maldivian law, minors convicted of criminal offences must receive two-thirds of the lightest sentence for that crime, which in this case is house arrest for a year and four months.
The error became known after Landhoo Magistrate Court sentenced another minor, who was charged along with the former for the same offence, to house arrest. The former’s parents had taken the issue up with the court over the differing verdicts.
Both minors, who had turned up without any legal defence at the preliminary hearing, pleaded guilty to their charge.
While the Prosecutor General’s Office has declared that it will appeal the sentence as soon as the office receives the case report, the minor has already been handed over to Maldives Correctional Service and is serving his sentence.
According to the High Court’s regulations, the appellate court can defer the execution of a convicted person’s sentence during the appeal process.
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