Former principal of Lale Youth International School, Serkan Akar, appeared in the criminal court yesterday and denied assault and battery charges made against him made by the Prosecutor General’s office.
In the court hearing, Akar denied the accusations and said charges against him were baseless, which included strangling and whipping a child with a belt. The charge sheet noted that two employees witnessed the shoving and heard the child being whipped, during the incident last Ramazan.
Akar’s defense lawyer Abdulla Shair told the judge the charges had many issues, such as no mention of a specific date on which the incident took place.
Deputy Prosecutor General Hussein Shameem said the PG had asked the court to summon the two witnesses.
The Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) is currently compiling a case concerning abuse and other activities at Lale, which were reported by Minivan News last month. Akar has since tried to leave the country twice but was detained by immigration officials, who confiscated his passport.
President of HRCM Ahmed Saleem told Minivan News the Lale case was “very strange” and a “high priority” for the commission. A press conference concerning findings on the matter is imminent, Minivan News has been told.
The acting principal of the school Suleyman Atayev has told Minivan News that he is confident any allegations against the principal will be proven false.
Atayev was also critical of HRCM’s investigation: “They are refusing to tell us the nature of the complaints they are investigating. They are supposed be about human rights but they are not respecting ours.”
The Criminal Court of the Maldives had not responded to Minivan News at time of press.