High Court overturns MDP chairperson’s remand extension

The high court has overturned today the criminal court’s ruling to hold the main opposition Maldivian Democratic Party’s chairperson in police custody.

Ali Waheed was arrested under a court warrant on May 2 for encouraging violence at a historic anti-government protest on May 1.

The criminal court granted a 15-day remand on May 3 and extended the remand for seven additional days on May 17. The court supported the police’s claim that Waheed posed a danger to society.

But the high court judges noted Waheed had no criminal record, and said the police had not been able to provide sufficient reasons to keep him in custody for longer.

Judges also said the criminal court must consider the individual’s rights when extending remand detention and said long periods of pre-trial detention are prohibited by international law.

Waheed was released on Sunday when the remand period expired.

Adhaalath Party President Sheikh Imran Abdulla and Jumhooree Party council member Sobah Rasheed, arrested on the same charges, remain in police custody.