The Criminal Court has today sentenced Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP and parliamentary elections candidate for Kaashidhoo constituency Abdulla Jabir to one year in prison .
The court found him guilty of refusing to provide his urine sample to the police to run a drug test, and sentenced him to twelve months under the Drug Act 17/2011 article 123(a)(b).
The verdict published on the court website stated that on November 16, 2012, Jabir was arrested as a suspect in a drug related case and that police asked him to produce his urine sample to which he clearly refused according to the witnesses produced by the Prosecutor General’s Office.
The verdict stated that, although Jabir had claimed that he was tortured by the witnesses produced by the state, and that the police did not follow the correct procedure when asking for a urine sample, Jabir was not able to prove these accusations to the court.
Article 73(c)(2) of the constitution states that a person shall be disqualified from election as a member of the People’s Majlis – or a member of the People’s Majlis immediately becomes disqualified – if he has been convicted of a criminal offence and is serving a sentence of more than twelve months.
Article 73(c)(3) states that if a person has been convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced to a term of more than twelve months, unless a period of three years has elapsed since his release, or he has been pardoned for the offence for which he was sentenced, he will also be disqualified.
MDP MP Ali Azim and Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Mohamed Nashiz were disqualified from the Majlis by the Supreme Court in a controversial ruling over decreed debt in October.
Jabir was set to re-contest his Kaashidhoo seat next month after an internal MDP decision to discipline the MP for repeatedly breaking three-line whips was overturned on appeal.
A house in Malé owned by the MP was raided by police earlier this month. Three men were arrested and drugs and alcohol were seized, though it was reported that Jabir does not live in the building.
MDP Parliamentary Group Leader Ibrahim Mohamed ‘Ibu’ Solih was unavailable at time of press and Jabir was not responding to calls.
A total of 10 people were taken into police custody on November 16 after police raided and searched Hondaidhoo with a court warrant. Officers alleged they found large amounts of “suspected” drugs and alcohol upon searching the island.
Seven of the suspects, including Maldivian Democratic Party MPs Hamid Abdul Ghafoor and Jabir were among those charged.
At the time, police submitted cases against former SAARC Secretary General and Special Envoy to the former President Ibrahim Hussain Zaki, former President’s Office Press Secretary Mohamed Zuhair and his wife Mariyam Faiz. The manager of Jabir’s resort J Alidhoo Jadhulla Jaleel and Zaki’s son Hamdan Zaki also face charges.
Two Sri Lankan nationals named Raj Mohan and Anoor Bandaranayk as well as a Bangladeshi named Suhail Rana were taken into custody following the island raid.
Police Sub-Inspector Hassan Haneef said at the time of the arrests that officers requested all suspects taken into custody on Hondaidhoo to provide urine samples for a routine examination. However, only Hamdhaan Zaki and the three foreign suspects complied with the request.
According to the Drug Act, Sections 123(a), 161(a) and 161(b), any person arrested on suspicion of having abused alcohol or narcotics has an obligation to comply with police requests for routine urine examination by promptly providing urine samples, and failure to comply is a criminal offence punishable with a one-year jail sentence.