Crime Legal

High Court acquits man convicted of assaulting police officer

High Court has acquitted Ibrahim Ibad – sentenced to seven years in prison for assaulting a police officer with a police baton during the May Day Protest in 2015.

Ibad was found guilty of assault with a deadly weapon and sentenced to seven years in prison by the Criminal Court in August 2016.

Upon appeal, the High Court, this Monday, overruled Criminal Court’s verdict and acquitted Ibad citing he was charged under the wrong article of law.

Speaking to ‘Sun’, Ibad’s attorney Nazim Sattar said the court had noted Ibad was charged by the prosecution under the law on possession of sharp or deadly weapons for assault using a “weapon”, but that the charge failed to specify the weapon used was “sharp” or “deadly”.

Maldives Police Service has released video of the assault on the police officer. It shows a police officer charging at protesters, a protester kicking the officer in the legs leading him to fall to the ground, several protesters grabbing the officer’s baton from him, and proceeding to kick the officer and beat him with his own baton.

A May Day protester who was sentenced to five years in prison received the presidential pardon earlier this year. Ibrahim Labaan Shareef, who plays as a goalkeeper for football club Green Street was just 19 when he was sentenced. He received the presidential pardon in May 2018, three years into his five-year sentence.

Another May Day Protest prisoner, Nasira Ali, was freed in 2017. She, too, was given the presidential pardon.

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