Dhivehi Quamee Party (DQP) MP Riyaz Rasheed has submitted a bill to parliament proposing executions be carried out by hanging people sentenced to death in court.
Riyaz told newspaper ‘Haveeru’ that he submitted the bill because the government’s version of the bill, drafted in December 2012, had yet to be submitted to parliament.
According to Riyaz’s bill, the trials of people accused of offences punishable by death under the penal code are to be conducted with a defence lawyer, even should the defendant refused.
The bill requires the lower courts to forward a case report to the High Court 14 days from the date the trial reaches a conclusion. The High Court is required to conduct a trial to determine whether the lower court’s ruling is lawful.
Should this decision be upheld, the matter must then be referred to the Supreme Court, which issue the final ruling on the case.
According to the bill, the defendant is given the opportunity to meet his family and say his last words before he is hanged.
The bill obliges the state to delay implementing death sentences if the person is a minor, pregnant woman, mentally ill or suffering from a disease.
In December last year, Attorney General Azima Shukoor drafted a bill outlining how the death sentence should be practiced in the Maldives, with lethal injection being identified as the state’s preferred method of capital punishment.
The government’s draft, which has yet to be submitted to parliament was criticised by religious groups in the Maldives, who argued that the state’s method of execution should be beheading or firing squad.