It has been decided that a three Judge bench will preside over the trial of former President Mohamed Nasheed and some members of his government over the case of the unconstitutional arrest and subsequent detention of Chief Criminal Judge Abdulla Mohamed.
The case has been assigned to Hulhumale Magistrate Court but the hearings will be held in a hall in the ground floor of the Justice Building.
An official of the Judicial Administration Department revealed that the trials of all people prosecuted over Judge Abdulla’s arrest will be presided over by a three Judge bench from the Hulhumale Court.
“The three Judges designated for President Nasheed’s trial will also preside over the trials of the others being charged in the case,” official detailed.
There are two permanent Judges assigned to the Hulhumale Magistrate Court. But as both the Judges are currently on paid leave, Chief Magistrate of the Kaafu Atoll Huraa Court, Moosa Naseem is currently in-charge of the Hulhumale Court.
Besides former President Nasheed, former Defence Minister Tholhath Ibrahim Kaleyfaanu, former Chief of Defence Force Moosa Ali Jaleel, Brigadier Ibrahim Mohamed Didi and Colonel Ahmed Ziyad are all charged of the unconstitutional arrest of an innocent person under Article 81 of the Penal Code. If found guilty the offence carries a maximum sentence of three years in jail or exile or a fine not exceeding MVR2,000.
According to the constitution, a person to be elected as President must not have been convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced to a term of more than twelve months, unless a period of three years has elapsed since his release, or pardon for the offence for which he was sentenced. Hence, if Nasheed is found guilty of the charges and sentenced to more than twelve months he would be lose a condition stipulated under the constitution that is obligatory in a presidential candidate.