The High Court has upheld a Criminal Court ruling sentencing a man found guilty of throwing stones at private broadcaster VTV to seven years imprisonment.
Eight men including Mohamed Hameed were given seven year sentences for throwing stones outside the station during anti-government protests on March 19, 2012.
The demonstrators were protesting the new President Dr Mohamed Waheed from giving the opening address to the first session of parliament, following his controversial arrival to power the previous month.
In addition to Hameed, the Criminal Court also sentenced 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 for vandalising the channel.
The building, as well as the soldiers guarding its entrance on Sosun Magu, came under attack as police tear gas forced the protesters south, past the building from the police barricades near to the parliament building.
Appealing the sentence, Hameed argued that it was extraordinary practice for the court to impose the maximum possible sentence on a first time offender with no criminal record.
However the High Court, noting that the sentence was three to seven years, deferred to the discretion of the Criminal Court judge.
VTV is owned by MP Gasim Ibrahim, a resort tycoon, presidential candidate and member of the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) tasked with disciplining the judiciary.