The legal team of Dhiggaru MP Faris Maumoon on Sunday protested that the statute of limitations had already passed when the prosecution amended the bribery charge against the opposition lawmaker, and thus his indictment is now invalid.
The lawmaker son of former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom was arrested and remanded under a court order until the end of his trial, under accusations of bribing lawmakers to garner support for the opposition lobbied censure motion against the parliament speaker.
However, the official charges initially forwarded by the Prosecutor General’s Office to the Criminal Court indicted MP Faris under Section 510 (a) of the Penal Code, which is “Accepting Bribe”. The PG Office later amended the indictment to Subject 510 (b) of the Penal Code, which is “Offering Bribe”. The change was made without withdrawing the case from court.
In a letter of protest sent to Chief Judge Adam Arif of the Criminal Court last Thursday, MP Faris’ lawyer Maumoon Hameed noted that the initial charge against his client was false. He declared that the state prosecution amended MP Faris’ charge after the statute of limitations, as specified under Section 94 of the Criminal Procedure Act, had passed and, thus, the case at the Criminal Court is no longer lawful.
Hence, the lawyer demanded an immediate end to his client’s remand and to release him from detention.
Section 94 of the Criminal Procedure Act states that detainees must be charged within 30 days of their first remand extension. However, the section authorises the Prosecutor General’s Office to extend the period of investigation by another 30 days in cases of major criminal offences.
Full details are available from the link below: