Friday, 18 September 2015

Prosecutor General Files Appeal with the Supreme Court in Former President Nasheed’s Case

Issued By 

17 September 2015, Male'; The Prosecutor General announced, in a statement issued on 17 September 2015, that he has filed an application with the Maldives Supreme Court in former President Nasheed’s Case requesting that the decision of the High Court be set aside.

In the Statement, the Prosecutor General stated that the application was not filed at the request of former President Nasheed. Instead it was filed as per the mandate of the Prosecutor General conferred upon him by Article 223 of the Constitution. The Prosecutor General  also noted that former President Mohamed Nasheed appeared to have been seeking to frustrate the appeal process before the High Court, and despite having been reminded by that Court of his on-going right to seek an appeal, had refused to lodge such an application or to participate in the appeal filed in the High Court.

In the statement Prosecutor General, went on to express concern regarding the decision of the High Court, stating that there had been a clear misapplication of the relevant legal test when determining whether the appeal ought to be accepted. In this regard, Prosecutor General noted that the High Court had ruled upon the merits of the substantive application despite no oral argument having been advanced by either party to the appeal as to whether the grounds filed were meritorious or otherwise.

According to the statement, the appeal that the Prosecutor General filed at the Supreme Court centres on two critical issues. In the first instance, Prosecutor General stated that he has highlighted how the High Court has ruled that the grounds advanced did not demonstrate how there had been an error in law or procedure.  Prosecutor General, then noting that the High Court thereafter had ruled that the appeal ought to be rendered inadmissible as the respondent (the former President) had not filed the appeal, stated that he has highlighted in the application, how this is an error in law in that the Prosecutor General has the inherent power to appeal any decision should he seek to exercise his discretion.

Prosecutor General also in his statement, reiterated his position that the courts are obliged to ensure that the trial of the former President and the conviction is safe, and stated further that in the appeal, he has set out a number of concerns that impact on the procedural fairness of the proceedings.  In this regard, Prosecutor General  noted that he is concerned that all applications before the courts, regardless of the applicant or respondent ought to be judged in accordance with the law and in accordance with established principles of justice and fairness, and that he is clear from consideration of the decision of the High Court that these principles may not have been adhered to and thus it is only appropriate that the Supreme Court is asked to consider the issue further.

The Maldives High Court had,  on  10 September 2015,  rejected the appeal lodged by the Prosecutor General on behalf of former President Nasheed, ruling that the grounds it was filed were not meritorious.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Republic of the Maldives

Website: www.foreign.gov.mv

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