Raajje TV journalist Mohamed Wisam has been found not guilty of obstructing police officers during an anti-government protest in 2015.
Delivering a verdict on Tuesday, Judge Ahmed Shakeel said the prosecution’s evidence was insufficient.
“This is a joke,” Wisam told the Maldives Independent. “This arrest happened in 2015. I have been dragged around since and today I am told I am not guilty. This is nothing but intimidation and harassment.”
The 22-year-old journalist said he had been expecting a prison sentence as he had been found guilty in January on a separate count of obstructing police and handed a fine of US$1,868. His colleague, Leevaan Ali Nasir was also convicted and handed the same fine.
The second charge stemmed from Wisam’s arrest near the restricted Republic Square area of Malé during the station’s coverage of an opposition protest on March 25, 2015.
Contrary to the prosecution’s claim that Wisam obstructed police officers and scaled barricades, the judge said the video showed Wisam being arrested and noted that other journalists were also covering the protest.
The presence of the journalists does not amount to obstruction of police officers, he said.
However, the same video was used to convict Raajje TV cameraman Adam Zareer last month, Raajje TV said. He was found guilty of obstruction and handed a fine of US$195.
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Source URL: Maldives Independent