Prosecution lodges 45 cases with court amid lockdown

Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem at a press conference on February 12, 2020. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem, on Monday, announced his office sent 45 cases to the Criminal Court in May, amid the lockdown on the Greater Male’ Region to curb a community spread of the new coronavirus.

He made the announcement via his official Twitter account on Monday morning.

According to Shameem the documents pertaining to the 45 cases, which involve 77 charge sheets, were sent to the Criminal Court were sent virtually.

Shameem noted that sending documents through a virtual platform was a far safer method, and suggested that the courts consider making it a permanent arrangement.

“Will be good NOT go back to sending papers. Together, let's move into the future @judiciarymv,” he said.

A sentiment echoed by Attorney General Ibrahim Riffath , who recently said the use of modern technology in courts was a much needed historical move.

“The use of technology saves both costs and time. It also expedites trials and shortens the path to justice. It also makes the inflexibility of the courts a thing of the past, and the video and audio broadcast of trials will allow people to feel that justice is being served,” said Riffath.

The 54 cases sent by the Prosecutor General’s Office to the Criminal Court in May also includes charges against 11 people held in connection to 61.06 kilos of heroin seized from a local fishing boat in late March.

PG Shameem said that prosecutors had drafted a 576-page charge sheet in connection to the case.

He said that drafting a 576-page charge sheet had not been an easy task amid the lockdown, and commended the police officers and prosecutors involved in the case.

The drugs had been seized from the boat Iruali on March 26; the culmination of a nine-day operation run by the Drug Enforcement Department, in collaboration with Police Intelligence and Marine Police.

The street value of the drugs seized in the operation was valued at approximately MVR 72 million, and the police, in their searches, also seized cash believed to be profits from the sale of drugs.