The Criminal Court has asked the state to appoint a defence lawyer for a Filipino woman arrested in Male airport after attempting to smuggle three kilograms of cocaine into the country, as she was not able to afford one.
According to local media present at the court today, the woman asked the court what would happen if a lawyer was not appointed and the Judge told her that the court was now working with the Attorney General (AG)’s office to appoint a lawyer.
The judge also said the court found it difficult to conduct such serious cases without the respondent having a defence lawyer.
The woman told the court that she would keep trying to make her family appoint her a lawyer.
On September 17 customs reported that its officers at the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport had seized 3368 grams of drugs inside the suitcase of the 33 year-old woman.
The customs department said the woman came to Maldives from Rio de Janeiro after transiting in Dubai.
At the time customs said the case was also being investigated by Dubai police and relevant authorities, concerning the case’s possible connections to drug lords around the world.
The customs also said that the street value of the drugs would be over US$400,000.
Speaking to Minivan News today, Criminal Court spokesperson Ahmed Mohamed Manik said the court had given the woman the opportunity to appoint a lawyer previously, but she had not.
According to Manik this was the second chance the court had given her the chance to appoint a lawyer.