Prosecutor General’s Office appeals Criminal Court’s release of PPM Council Member arrested for assault

The Prosecutor General (PG)’s Office has appealed the Criminal Court’s decision not to extend the detention of Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) Council Member Ahmed ‘Maaz’ Saleem for alleged assault.

Saleem was released on Sunday (July 14), the day following his arrest, after police “obtained information necessary for the investigation”, a police spokesperson told newspaper Haveeru.

However some of the individuals arrested after the alleged assault on a ferry captain remain in police custody, following the Criminal Court’s extension of their detention, according to local media.

The PG’s Office called for Saleem to be arrested during the appeal hearing held at the High Court this morning (July 21).

“He was arrested and brought in front of the Criminal Court judge. The judge believed him and ordered his release,” High Court Spokesperson Ameen Faisal told Minivan News today (July 21).

“The Prosecutor General again called for his arrest, which is basically how an appeal case goes on, especially regarding detention,” explained Faisal.

He confirmed that the ruling for Saleem’s detention case is scheduled tomorrow (July 22) at 10:30am.

The Criminal Court and Police Spokesperson Chief Inspector Hassan Haneef were not responding to calls at time of press.

Saleem and three other men were arrested over the alleged assault of an airport ferry captain Saturday (July 13). Saleem allegedly instructed the group to attack the ferry captain after accusing him of stealing a bag containing an iPad, according to a police account of the incident in local media.

Following the alleged assault, police took Saleem and his three companions into custody, as well as the injured ferry captain.

“We have received information that Saleem accused the captain of stealing the bag. He then got off the ferry and returned with a group and assaulted the captain,” a police spokesperson told Haveeru.

PPM MP Ahmed Nihan said the reported arrest of Saleem was a personal matter and was not anything to do with the party.

He said that he had been informed of the arrest at about 12:25am by a party supporter that “something went wrong” outside at the jetty near the Nasandhura Palace Hotel involving a computer or tablet device, but had no further details at time of press.

Nihan added that Saleem had not been directly involved with PPM campaigning since the party’s primary election earlier this year, that saw MP Abdulla Yameen elected as its presidential candidate.