Criminal Court ordered to rehear corruption case against ex-deputy mayor

Former Deputy Mayor of Male’ City Ibrahim Shujau.

High Court has ruled in favor of the appeal filed by the State over the decision to dismiss the corruption case against former Male’ City deputy mayor Ibrahim Shujau, establishing that the Criminal Court was wrongful in its decision to dismiss the case, and ordering it to rehear the case. 

Shujau was charged with using influence of his position to confer an undue advantage under Article 12 (a) of Anti-Corruption Act, for authorizing the construction of a building at a height that exceeded the height limit permitted under Male’ Planning Regulation back in 2014. 

The Prosecutor General’s Office filed the charge against him with the Criminal Court in September last year. 

However, the Criminal Court ruled that the Male’ Planning Regulation was published on the Government Gazette and took effect after the case was lodged with the court, and that Shujau was therefore charged in violation of Article 61 of the Constitution. Judge Hussain Faiz Rashad also ruled that it was unestablished the Male’ Planning Regulation was publicized, and that the court is therefore unable to hear the case. 

The decision was appealed by the Prosecutor General’s Office with the High Court, which has ordered the Criminal Court to rehear the case. 

The appeal was heard by a panel of three judges; Judge Hussain Mazeed, Chief Judge Hathif Hilmy, and Judge Hussain Shaheed. 

The ruling was issued after two out of the three judges – Mazeed and Hathif - agreed the court had been wrongful in its decision to dismiss the case. Shaheed offered a dissenting opinion – that the lower court had been rightful in its decision.