The Criminal Court has commenced the trial of five men accused of vandalising the offices of private broadcaster Villa Television (VTV) during protests held in Male’, on the day President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik delivered his inaugural Presidential Speech.
VTV is owned by Jumhoree Party (JP) Leader Gasim Ibrahim, which is represented in President Waheed’s coalition government.
The Prosecutor General (PG) has pressed charges against Ismail Hammaadh of Maduvvari in Raa Atoll, Ahmed Hameeed and Hussein Hameed of Alifushi in Raa Atoll, Ahmed Naeem of Henveiru Ladhumaageaage, Hussein Shifau Jameel of Maafannu Nooruzeyru, Aanim Hassan of Ferishoo in North Ali Atoll, Ahmed Muheen of Galolhu Haalam and Mohamed Hameed.
Newspaper ‘Haveeru’ reported that a lawyer representing the PG’s Office pressed charges against the five suspects for their alleged violation of legislation banning threatening behaviour and the possession of sharp weapons.
All of the respondents have denied the charges against them.
Local media reported that the PG’s Office lawyer was given the opportunity to produce evidence including witness statements, pictures and video footage provided by VTV staff present at the area when the incident occurred. Police and MNDF officers were also produced to the court for their accounts.
On March 19, President Dr Waheed Hassan Manik delivered his opening address to parliament amid widespread anti-government demonstrations, after the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) took to the street to prevent him from giving the speech. Violent clashes between police and protesters and sparked major unrest in the capital Male’.
Following violent confrontations between civilians and security forces during the day, 99 people were arrested, with a number of security officers and protesters reported injured.
Police Superintendent Ahmed Mohamed previously said that the attack on VTV was itself an act of terrorism and that those involved should receive “the harshest punishment possible”.
2 thoughts on “Criminal Court begins hearing VTV vandalism case”
This is not right. Just because MDP organized a protest, and MDP activists threw bicycles and stones at VTV, and smashed the windows of the place, doesnt mean these people should get criminally persecuted. Is the act of throwing a stone and smashing the windows of a news stations a crime ? Yeah, maybe it is, but werent the reasons why bricks and stones thrown at VTV being talked about by anyone ? VTV was that day, refusing to air MDP's side of the issue, and that made it a plausible target for the angered members of MDp. They werent thinking clearly. Of course, someone might have died in this attack, but arent MDP given any benefit of the doubt due to them being the largest and most democratic party ? Doesnt anyone understand that these are innocent people ? (albeit people who threw a couple of stones).
I wonder if they will show what the plane loads of Russian hookers that are arranged to go "entertain" on Sun Island.
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