The appeal of the child sexual abuse case filed by the State against Maradhoo constituency MP Hassan Adil has begun at the High Court today.
The case was appealed at the High Court after the Criminal Court issued the verdict that the charges cannot be proven against Adil.
Given the explicit nature of the case, today’s hearing was carried out behind closed doors. The constitution allows for Judges presiding over cases to conduct hearings in this manner to uphold set social norms or to protect the identity of the victim involved.
An official from the Prosecutor General’s (PG) Office revealed today that at today’s hearing the State had submitted its appeal points and Adil’s lawyers had requested a chance to respond and the Judge had given the chance as well, and that a second hearing will be scheduled for next week.
The Criminal Court verdict of the case says that the State had not provided enough evidence against Adil to prove that he had indeed committed the crime he had been accused of.
Adil had been charged under Article 1 and 3 of the Special Protection to Children, Young, Elderly and Disadvantaged People’s Act. If proven guilty he may be sentenced to between 10-14 years in jail, which would disqualify him from the parliament.
Adil who had previously been a member of the current opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has defected to the pro-government Jumhoory Party (JP).