Criminal Court Judge has acquitted Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP for Maradhoo constituency in Addu City, Hassan Adil, from the charges of child abuse submitted by the state.
The judge said that the state had failed to present sufficient evidence as per the requirement of Article 47 of the Use of Special Procedures in Dealing with Child Abusers Act, and that therefore Adil was not guilty.
If he had been found guilty, Adil would have face imprisonment for a period between 10 to 14 years and would also have lost his seat in parliament.
According to the Maldives constitution, a parliamentarian loses his seat if he receives a criminal sentence of more than a year.
Article 3, clause (a) of the Use of Special Procedures in Dealing with Child Abusers Act states: “If a person touches a child with sexual intention, it is deemed as an offence.”
Clause (c) of the same article states: “If a person is guilty of the offence stipulated in clause (a), the punishment for the offence is imprisonment for a period of between 10 to 14 years.”
In order to find a person guilty of the charge, the state has to provide sufficient evidence according to article 47 of the act.
Police arrested Adil on 4th April 2011 with a court warrant, and on the next day extended his detention period for 15 days. He was later transferred to house arrest.
On June 12 last year the court granted the Prosecutor General (PG) permission to hold Adil in house arrest until the trial reached a conclusion.
However, Adil was later given conditional release from house arrest by the Criminal Court..
Police at the time alleged that Adil sexually abused a 13 year-old girl belonging to a family with whom he was close friends. The family of the victim had raised concerns over the delays in filing the case in court by the Prosecutor general.
MP Hassan Adil was originally elected to the parliament under the ticket of Dr Hassan Saeed’s Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP), however he switched allegiance by defecting to then ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).
“I believe that the government is conducting many development projects at a high speed, and I signed with MDP for the development of my area at the request of [my constituents],” he said, speaking to Minivan News after switching sides.