Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and Commissioner of Police Hussein Waheed met on Thursday and discussed measures to expedite cases involving assault of police officers and obstruction of police duty.
According to a statement by the Maldives Police Services, Saeed pledged to take the necessary steps and said law enforcement officers must receive due protection and security.
Appreciating the service of policemen, Saeed said the nation came first before the individual, and said the Supreme Court bench would not engage in any act that may cause harm to the Maldives.
Waheed said “attacking law enforcement officers is a crime in civilized countries,” and spoke about the need for expediting cases involving attacks on police officers.
Hundreds of individuals were arrested from protests on charges of obstruction of police duty and assault of police officers during the anti-government protests following the controversial transfer of power in February 2012.
An individual found guilty of the offense may be fined up to MVR12,000 (US$778) and/or sentenced to six months in jail.
According to statistics published by the Prosecutor General’s Office, in 2013, 101 individuals were charged with obstruction of police duty. In 2012, 65 individuals were charged with obstruction of police duty and 59 were charged with assaulting a police officer. Figures were not available for 2014.
The police have not published statistics on the number of individuals arrested on these charges.
According to the police statement, Saeed and Waheed also discussed measures to reduce crime rates in the Maldives.
Saeed was appointed as the Chief Justice following the controversial and sudden dismissal of former Chief Justice Ahmed Faiz and Justice Muthasim Adnan after a People’s Majlis amendment to the Judicature Act reducing the seven-member Supreme Court bench to five judges.
Supreme Court Justices Ali Hameed and Dr Ahmed Abdulla Didi and Deputy Commissioners of Police Ahmed Saudhy and Mohamed Sodiq also participated in the meeting.
Meanwhile, Prosecutor General Muhthaz Mushin has requested the police speed up investigation in cases involving arrest from unlawful protests and submit charges for prosecution within 48 hours.
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