The Prosecutor General (PG)’s Office has been unable to pursue 273 pending cases due to budget shortages at the Criminal Court, PG Ahmed Muizz has revealed to parliament’s Independent Commissions Committee.
“The court will sometimes tell us that it cannot hold trials that require witnesses to be brought to Male from the islands,” Muizz told the committee, according to local media reports. “Sometimes the court will reject the cases. We haven’t prosecuted some cases because we need to find a solution to this issue.”
The prospect of an imminent budget crisis in the judicial system was highlighted by UN Special Rapporteur for the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Gabriela Knaul, in her extensive report on the Maldivian judiciary published in May.
“The immediate implications of the budget cuts on the judiciary are appalling. For instance, the Department of Judicial Administration only has funds to pay staff salaries until November 2013 and it had to cancel training this year,” Knaul wrote.
“The Civil Court reported that it would not have sufficient funds to pay its staff salaries after October 2013; furthermore, existing budgetary resources would not be sufficient to pay for utilities and facilities after June 2013,” she added.
The Criminal Court spokesperson was not responding at time of press.
Court website hacked
Hackers meanwhile this morning compromised the Criminal Court website, changing it to a black screen with text identifying themselves as Algerian.
“Attacker frOm AlGeria. This server was hacked by Yacine Jocker & xDjamil Jocker ;). skype:xDjamil.Jocker. Nothing Is Impossible [#] Greets: All my Friends,” read the message.
At time of press the Criminal Court website had been taken down and there was no site displaying at the address.