The Criminal Court has claimed that police have been arresting and bringing already convicted criminals to the court and requesting extensions of detention, despite the fact that the individuals are supposed to be behind bars.
On March 18 the police brought a person to the Criminal Court who had previously been sentenced to 45 years imprisonment after he was found guilty of theft, objection to order and three drug related charges, said the Criminal Court.
A second person was also brought before the court who had been sentenced 10 times on different charges and was supposed to be serving 27 years imprisonment, the court said, after he was found guilty of five robbery cases, two cases of objection to order, two cases of driving without license and one case of possession and using of drugs.
”The court’s documents show that those two persons were handed over to the concerned authorities to implement the verdict,” the court said. ”They were brought before the judges on March 18 on charges of robbery and were caught that night while the police was conducting a special operation to curb the violence in Male’.”
The Criminal Court that night ordered police to handover the two criminals to the penitentiary department within two days.
”The court queried why a person sentenced to 45 years prison and another to 27 years, who are supposed to be in jail, were released into society. [Police] replied that it was the Home Ministry that released them,” the court added.
Head of Department of Penitentiary and Rehabilitation Services (DPRS) Ahmed Rasheed told Minivan News that there were many challenges the department had to face when handling the prisoners.
”There are people who escape, people who are released for house arrest, people who cannot be kept inside the cells because of their medical condition,” said Rasheed. ”A very infamous criminal named Mohamed Ibrahim Didi, also known as ‘Kiyawa’, escaped recently.”
Kiyawa, Rasheed said, was brought Male’ to report to the hospital as he had a severe knee injury.
”The doctors said his knee needed to undergo an operation and that he needed to be admitted for a month before operating,” Rasheed explained. ”One day, late in the afternoon, he fled from hospital. There are reasons why a person who cannot stand on two feet by himself escapes.”
Rasheed said in other incidents when prisoners escaped while they were being transferred from island prisons to Male’.
”Somehow their relatives, friends and lovers get to know that they are scheduled to come Male’ at this time for this purpose and will be at the jetty when prisoners arrives, they will all circle around and gather,” he said. ”Some of those times, the prisoners friends will come by, threaten the prison officers and flee.”
He said that currently there were more than 70 prisoners released on parole.
”There will be 15 prisoners in Thilafushi in the work corporation, and there will be fugitives as well,” he said.
Rasheed said a legal framework needed to be established to solve the issues.
”There has to be a lawful system where good prisoners can be granted clemency, such as a reward for a prisoner who learns by heart two books of the Quran or the whole of Quran. If such a law was established then prisoners cannot escape by having a friend in the President’s Office.”
He also noted that there were times DPRS officers were attacked during prisoners’ escapes.