Criminal Court Judge Abdulla Didi has today said that the court will deliver a verdict on the trial of Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Abdulla Jabir, who has been charged with possession of cannabis.
According to local media, the last hearing was held at the Criminal Court where both the Prosecutor General (PG) lawyers and Jabir’s defense lawyers submitted the concluding statements.
Local paper Haveeru reported the prosecution as telling the court that the island Hondaidhoo was owned by Jabir and so the MP must take responsibility for the drugs found on the island as no one else has taken the responsibility.
Jabir’s lawyer told the court that the island was not under the control of Jabir and that he had not participated in any drug transactions. The defence lawyer also stated that the witnesses produced to the court by the state were police officers that had tortured Jabir, thus invalidating their their statements.
If Jabir is found guilty, he will have to serve a 15 year prison sentence and pay a fine of MVR25,000 to MVR500,000 according to Maldivian Drug Act.
A total of 10 people were taken into police custody on November 16 after police raided and searched Hondaidhoo with a court warrant. Officers alleged they found large amounts of suspected drugs and alcohol upon searching the island.
In August this year, the PG charged MDP MPs Abdulla Jabir and Hamid Abdul Ghafoor with smuggling alcohol into the country and with consuming alcohol.
Jabir and Hamid were also both charged with objecting to urine testing and possession of cannabis and alcohol.
Hamid’s failure to attend hearings for his case prompted the court to sentence him to 6 months, despite his claims to have been excused from the specified hearings due to parliamentary privilege.
After initial house arrest and a short stay in Maafushi jail, Hamid’s sentence was overturned by the High Court – though the alcohol and urine test cases are still pending.
The MDP has alleged that the treatment of its MPs, including, Jabir was noticeably different to those of other parties, accusing prosecutors of persecuting its members and supporters.