Juvenile Court postpones terrorism trial of minors

The Juvenile Court has postponed the sentencing of four minors charged with terrorism for their alleged involvement in the arson attack on Thinadhoo Court on February 8, 2012.

A verdict was due on February 6, but the court postponed sentencing to Thursday. However, the court local media a verdict will now be delivered on February 24.

A court official told newspaper ‘Haveeru’ that the sentencing had to be postponed because the four minors and their lawyers did not attend court today. The official had said that the court will take action against them.

Protests erupted across the country on February 8, after a brutal police crackdown on an opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) protest against the party was ousting from power the previous day.

Protestors on Gaaf Dhaalu Atoll Thinadhoo Island set fire to the police station, magistrate court, atoll council office, and all police vehicles. Nine policemen were attacked and subsequently treated at the Thinadhoo Regional Hospital. Police officials at the time declared the area unsafe for local policemen as “MDP supporters have threatened to attack the residences of policemen.”

The police initially requested the Prosecutor General (PG) to charge 108 persons in connection with the unrest.

The PG pressed terrorism charges against the minors under article 6 (b), with reference to article 2 (f,g) of the Terrorism Prevention Act. Article 6 (b) states that any person found guilty of the act of terrorism shall be sentenced between 10 and 15 years imprisonment or banishment.