Criminal Court closes nine trials amid Male’ lockdown

Criminal Court. (File Photo/Sun/Fayaz Moosa)

The Criminal Court has announced it has held 34 hearings and closed nine trials since the lockdown on Male’ City mid-April.

The Criminal Court has released records pertaining to its work amid the lockdown.

The records show that up until last Tuesday, the court held 940 remand hearings and reviewed eight detention orders in response to requests.

The court also issued 97 other orders at the request of investigative agencies.

The court received 97 forms pertaining to 115 cases during the period, all 115 of which were accepted into the court.

The court held 34 trial hearings and issued verdicts on nine cases. The court recorded 142 hours and 35 minutes of trial proceedings in writing, and issued 10 case summaries.

The court also cleared the criminal records of 116 parties.

Male’ City has been on red alert since April 15, when it had identified its first coronavirus case and confirmed a community spread in the populous capital. Male’ quickly emerged as the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak in Maldives, contributing to over 90 percent of total cases.

Since the lockdown, the Criminal Court has been holding hearings remotely using video conferencing. Meanwhile, those ordered to jail in Maafushi Prison pending the outcome of their trials are presented to the K. Maafushi Magistrate Court for their trial, while trial of those held in Male’ Prison remain stalled.

The Criminal Court is working through the lockdown by asking only a minimal number of its staff to report to the court for work, while the rest are working from home. Administrative work pertaining to trials, other administrative work, record keeping, case summary reports, criminal record clearance and registration are all being done by the court’s staff from home.