High Court upholds Criminal Court decision to extend pre-trial detention of Azim

The High Court has upheld a Criminal Court decision to extend the detention period of Maldivian Democratic Party member Ali Azim, whose parliamentary seat is being contested by the Supreme Court and the Majlis.

Azim was arrested on charges that he attempted to assault a Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) officer in control of the security of parliament. He has since been released to house arrest.

The High Court ruling on the appeal submitted by Azim stated that his arrest was lawful.

The High Court ruling stated that, on October 26, Azim went inside the parliament and attempted to assault an MNDF officer on duty, adding that it was the responsibility of the armed forces to stop anything that might be a threat to the security of  MPs.

The High Court ruling also said that Azim was arrested by police outside the parliament in the presence of his lawyer and that police have completed all the procedure stated in article 48 of the constitution.

Additionally, the High Court also noted that article 74 of the constitution states the Supreme Court has to determine if there is any dispute over the legitimacy of a parliamentarian and that, on October 24 at 6:30pm, the Supreme Court had ruled that Azim was disqualified from his seat and could no longer be considered a member of the Majlis.