Renowned Qari (Quran reciter) Hussain Thaufeeq has been charged with possession of pornographic material by the Prosecutor General’s Office, on top of multiple counts of child molestation.
The Criminal Court held the first hearing of the pornography charges this morning.
Deputy Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem confirmed to Minivan News today that additional charges had been pressed against the famed teacher.
“Police discovered [the pornographic material] on his computer,” he said.
Qari Thaufeeq, widely considered to be the best Quran reciter in the Maldives, was arrested in August last year on allegations of sexually abusing a number of under-aged girls.
Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam told Minivan News at the time that Thaufeeq was arrested in connection with “many” child sex offences against girls, “some cases going back a long time.”
Prior to his arrest, Thaufeeq hosted a daily Quran teaching programme with school children on state television every night after Maghrib prayers. He also led Friday prayers and conducted religious sermons.
Under the Child Sex Offenders (Special Provisions) Act of 2009, the penalty for child sex abuse is 10-14 years but can be extended to 15-18 years if the accused was in a position of trust with the children he allegedly abused.
In child sex abuse cases, the court usually exercises its authority to conduct closed hearings, excluding journalists and the public from observing the trial.
While the Criminal Court initially extended Thaufeeq’s detention in police custody to 15 days following his arrest on August 17, 2010, the court later transferred to the Qari to house arrest.
Thaufeeq was also sacked from his post at the Centre for the Holy Quran by the Islamic Ministry after it received reports of misconduct.