The Supreme Court on Monday ordered the High Court to review the decision to release the Managing Director of SeaLife Global Ahmed Moosa Mohamed (Ammaty).
The High Court had previously rejected the appeal filed by the state over Ammaty’s release, citing that the appeal was filed after the 48-hour window granted had expired.
The Prosecutor General’s Office insisted that the appeal be filed before the 48-hours expired. The PGO had also asked the Supreme Court to order the High Court to hear the appeal.
Ammaty has been released three times since his arrest in 2021, with the most recent release date in March this year.
However, the Supreme Court stated in this hearing that weekends and public holidays in the appeal period will not be counted.
Article 198 of the Criminal Procedure Act states that the appeal window will be counted from the date the order was issued and will last for 48 hours.
It was ruled that the state had correctly calculated the appeal period, as it was done prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling on the significance of rules in determining the appeal window. Hence, the High Court was ordered to hear the appeal case.
Notably, Ammaty’s lawyers have revealed in a statement their intention to appeal this at the Supreme Court. They highlighted that since Article 169 was ruled to be an unlawful following submission on behalf of Ammaty, he should benefit from the ruling.
The charges against Ammaty are:
Ammaty faces 65 years in prison if the charges are proven against him in court.
SeaLife announced its 3,000-apartment housing project, the SeaLife Complex in Hulhumale’, back in 2015.
280 tenants paid a booking fee of MVR 50,000 (some more than MVR 50,000). But the SeaLife Complex was never built and the tenants were never reimbursed for their down payments.
The cumulative total of the booking fees collected by SeaLife is estimated to be upwards of MVR 14 million.
The tenants who were cheated of their money filed a class-action lawsuit with the Civil Court against SeaLife Global, Housing Development Corporation (HDC) and the Ministry of Economic Development in January 2019.
Ammaty has pled ‘not guilty' to all 42 charges raised against him.