Criminal Court refusing to accept serious cases, Deputy PG tells MPs

Deputy Prosecutor General (PG) Hussain Shameem has told MPs on parliament’s independent institutions committee that serious cases are pending at the PG office due to Criminal Court’s procedure on accepting cases.

Serious cases of corruption, drugs and child sex abuse had not reached trial because the Criminal Court was refusing to accept the cases, he said.

The court was informing the PG office that cases should be filed at the magistrate court on the home island of the accused, Shameem explained, noting that magistrate courts could not hear drug cases and that in most cases the suspect was residing in the capital.

The Criminal Court in December last year suspended all ongoing cases and decided not to accept new cases filed by the PG office, claiming the court cannot proceed with trials in the absence of a PG.

In February this year, the Criminal Court started accepting new cases after the Supreme Court issued a second ruling ordering the court to uphold the rule of law.