The Criminal Court has asked the Prosecutor General’s (PG) Office to revise charges pressed against Ismail Abdul Latheef, the owner of Maleesha Hajj Group, claiming the charges filed against him were incorrect.
The PG has alleged that Latheef had fraudulently obtained MVR 8 million (US$519,000 ) from many people after they made payments to the Maleesha Hajj Group to travel to Mecca to perform Hajj.
Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed told the PG’s lawyers that the case related to the rights of many people and that the result of the lawsuit might be different if the trial was carried out in its current state, according to local media present at the court today.
The Court has given a three day period for the PG to revise the charges against Latheef.
Attending the Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam. Clients of the company were not able to go to Mecca this year to perform the religious obligation.
Latheef was arrested in Colombo, Sri Lanka in November 2012, a month after police issued an Interpol red notice to locate and apprehend him. Authorities were reported to have arrested Latheef while he was in the Mount Lavinia Hotel in Colombo.
Hajj groups are authorised by the government to provide transport and accommodation for pilgrims in Mecca, as well as offering guidance in helping them complete the religious rituals.
Latheef’s father is the head of the Athama Hajj Group.