Decision to reject appeal over ex-MP Mohamed Ismail’s detention lodged with judges’ council

Ex-MP Mohamed Ismail is arrested by police on May 18, 2022. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Hayyan)

High Court’s decision to reject the appeal filed over the detention of former MP Mohamed Ismail, a senior official at opposition Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) who was arrested in connection to the mob attack on a Yoga Day event in Male’ City in June, has been lodged with the court’s council of judges.

Mohamed Ismail was arrested in connection to the case on June 22. The Criminal Court initially extended his remand by seven days, and later by 30 days.

His lawyers filed an appeal with the High Court on July, asking the court to overturn the decision and release him from detention. However, the court’s registrar decided to reject the petition.

Mohamed Ismail’s lawyer, Ali Shah told Sun on Monday evening that there was no legal cause to reject the appeal, and that he believes the registrar had misunderstood.

Shah said he had lodged the decision of the registrar with the court’s council of judges, and if the council decided in favor of the registrar, the lawyers had the option of appealing the decision with the Supreme Court.

However, the decision on how to proceed will be taken after discussion within the legal team, he said.

He repeated their claims the evidence used against Mohamed Ismail was “manufactured”.

Shah said it was evident from the ruling issued by the judge in the decision to extend Mohamed Ismail’s remand.

“The judge said there’s no evidence Mohamed Ismail stormed the stadium and committed an act of terrorism, but there some suspicion related to the protest,” he said.

Shah said that the investigators were working against Mohamed Ismail.

“Mohamed Ismail was framed. Police have always labelled whoever they want whatever they want and framed them, haven’t they?” he said.

The yoga event, organized by the Indian Cultural Center and the Sports Ministry, was held on the morning of June 21, and was attended by dozens of participants, foreign ambassadors including Indian High Commissioner Munu Mahawar, diplomats, and government officials.

A mob of angry protestors had stormed the stadium, and threatened and assaulted some of the participants, and destroyed property.

Police issued a statement the same day stating preliminary investigative findings showed some of the items used by the mob had come from the office of PPM.

Police arrested over 20 suspects in connection to the mob attack on the event, including top PPM politician, former MP Mohamed Ismail, local Islamic scholars Sheikh Adam Nishan and Sheikh Mohamed Fazloon. Eight suspects, including Mohamed Ismail and Fazloon, have since been released.

14 suspects remain detained.