A suspect on trial for assaulting a police officer during a mass anti-government protest on May 1 has pleaded guilty to assault charges today.
At the first hearing of the trial today, Mohamed Shinan, from the Malaaz house in Shaviyani Goidhoo, reportedly admitted kicking the Specialist Operation (SO) police officer twice. Shinan noted that he had confessed to the crime during the police interrogation.
Shinan also asked for leniency in his detention when chief judge Abdulla Mohamed asked the defendant if he had anything to add.
Scores of protesters and some police officers were injured during violent clashes on the night of May 1. Video footage shows protesters tripping and kicking the SO officer and one man hitting the policeman over the head with his baton.
Sergeant Abdul Rahman Hussain was flown to Sri Lanka for medical treatment after the assault while the police publicised video footage of the incident and appealed for public assistance in locating suspects.
The prosecutor general’s office has charged 13 people over the incident. The other defendants have been given time to appoint lawyers.
The assault charge carries a jail sentence of between three to five years.
The main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party had meanwhile accused police of torturing and threatening to kill three suspects arrested for assaulting the police officer.