Maldives Police Service have commenced a probe into defamation accusations filed by the Maldives electoral watchdog against the deputy leader of main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).
Mohamed Shifaz had claimed in an opposition rally that he had received information from a source in the Elections Commission that President Abdulla Yameen had tried to influence the commission during the Local Council Elections earlier this year. According to Shifaz, the president had allegedly attempted to overturn the outcome in some constituencies, where there was a difference of less than 10 votes between candidates.
Police summoned Shifaz to headquarters late Tuesday for questioning over his comments and had taken his statement.
Shifaz told Mihaaru that Police is probing his issue as a case of sharing false information with the public under the notorious Freedom of Speech and Defamation Act which was implemented last year.
Declaring that his comments in the rally fall under freedom of expression, Shifaz said that he had refused to disclose the identity of his source at the EC during the interrogation.
“I said that I cannot reveal that information as it is my right to protect the source. But I will reveal that information in a situation that demands I share it,” said Shifaz, stating that he would disclose his source’s identity if the case goes to trial.
Shifaz also criticized the Elections Commission for filing the defamation case at Police while defamation does not apply to institutions as a whole under the Defamation Act.
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Source URL: Mihaaru-News