130kg drug bust: Criminal Court releases 2 for medical treatment

Hearing of the 130kg drug bust from a fishing vessel in Hulhumale. Two charged in the case were released by the Criminal Court on Wednesday, April 4, 2020, for medical purposes.

The Criminal Court on Wednesday ordered the release of two individuals charged in connection to the 130kg drug bust, for medical treatment.

On October 12, 2020, Maldives Police Service seized 130 kg of drugs from a fishing vessel involved in yellowfin tuna fishing, in Hulhumale harbour.

The court has ordered the release of Shaheeb Ibrahim (Light House, Ga.Villingili), a council member of the People’s National Congress (PNC) and Ahmed Moosa (Violet Villa, Ha. Hoarafushi) – who the Police allege are the ringleaders of this network.

The decision was made during a hearing held to review their remand, after both raised issues related to medical treatment.

Both were released after setting conditions, for a period of two months. Some of the conditions set by the court include, cooperating with the court, cannot leave Male’ City or fly abroad without permission and not going out during the nighttime.

In the hearing, Shaheeb’s lawyers highlighted the doctor’s recommendations for him to be granted the opportunity to exercise and conduct psychological assessments. The lawyer accused Maldives Correctional Services of not following through with these recommendations and added that the authority had misled such recommendations on previous occasions.

Shakeeb’s lawyer noted that he had to undergo treatment for some issues related to his spine previously as well.

However, the state said that Shaheeb was consulted by doctors and was undergoing treatment as per their recommendations, and the latest tests show improvements in his condition as well.

Meanwhile, Ahmed Moosa’s lawyers said that they do not want to make further comments regarding remand as those in custody were not released on any condition unless they are on the “brink of death”.

Following this, presiding Judge Ahmed Shakeel inquired details regarding Ahmed Moosa’s treatment. He said that the courts will not make any decision that would put anyone in harm, and would look into the condition of those in detention.

The state highlighted that when Ahmed Moosa consulted a Pulmonologist two months prior, the doctor asked to do some additional tests. However, due to issues faced by Corrections, the test was not done so far and assured that it would be done at the earliest possible.

Following this, the judge questioned whether two months was an appropriate duration to pass without doing the recommended tests, and also stressed that the state was granted multiple opportunities to take care of things related to medical treatment.

Hence, the judge ordered conditional release for two months, of both Ahmed Moosa and Shaheeb for medical purposes