During the court hearing for the identity theft case against Dhiggaru MP Faris Maumoon, witnesses have claimed that he had indeed used the logo and flag of the ruling party, Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), unlawfully during an opposition conference. However, both witnesses said in the statement given at court that they could not recall what Faris had talked about that day.
The charge against Faris state that he had used PPM’s logo and flag at a joint opposition press conference held last year March after he was expelled from the ruling party for going against its policies. The witnesses both had attended this conference. Their statements were taken in secrecy and separately.
While responding to the questions asked, the witnesses said that Faris had indeed spoken on behalf of PMM and that its flag had been present at that time. However, neither of them could’nt recall anything specific about what Faris had said at the conference. In addition, when asked about the date of the conference, the second witness said it was March 23, which clashed with the date of March 22 given in the case filed.
Faris’ lawyer had raised questions about how the witnesses had been present at the press conference, considering only the press were invited; both witnesses had claimed that they had not been representing any media agencies. In response, the witnesses had said that they did not recall how they were invited.
The state had said that the witnesses were kept anonymous on economic grounds. Faris’ lawyer Maumoon Hameed had raised questions whether the witnesses had been employed by Faris. When both denied this, Maumoon then questioned how Faris could cause economic damages. The witnesses then said that they did not believe that Faris could cause any damages, but since they had requested to give statements anonymously, they wished to continue as such.
During the next hearing, witnesses from the defendant will be presented and statements are to be taken from them. Faris had presented 47 witnesses in his defence and the details of this would be presented to court next week.
Faris is looking at four months and 24 days in jail if the trial does not end in his favour. In addition to this case, Faris is also being accused of bribery and its trial is underway as well.
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Source URL: Mihaaru-News