The Prosecutor General’s Office has decided to appeal to the Supreme Court against the High Court decision that stated that there was no legal basis for witnesses’ secret testimony of former Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed.
The verdict of the Criminal Court that found the former Chief Justice guilty was based on the testimony of three secret witnesses. The verdict which has now been overruled saw the former Chief Justice sentenced for failing to surrender his mobile phone to the authorities. The Criminal Court had found Abdulla Saeed guilty of obstruction of justice in the case.
The case on appeal was overruled by the High Court. The decision by the court read that the Criminal Court had ruled against the Article (147), (149) of the Criminal Procedure Code of Maldives.
Article (147) (A) states that if the trial is an open one, testimonies should be taken under oath in the trial hearings. Article (149) (A) states that even if the witness testimonies are to be heard during trial hearings the judge has the discretion to take testimonies under the evidence laws of the country to protect the witnesses.
The High Court decision yesterday read that there were no specified ways to protect those providing testimonies in the evidence laws of the country and that no amendments have been brought to the laws. Laws related to evidence in the country only state that such testimonies are to be taken in the prescribed manner to protect the witnesses. The High Court ruled that there was no legal course of action to be taken in the testimonies of secret witnesses stated in the law.
The Prosecutor General’s Office stated today that it will be appealing to the Supreme Court regarding the part about secret witnesses in the ruling by the High Court.
A statement by the PG read that it will be appealing to the Supreme Court to interpret the law related to the secret testimony in the High Court ruling yesterday since it had been legally invalidated by the ruling.