Police have complained that the defence lawyer of Al-Qary Hussain Thaufeeq, a renowned reciter of the Quran who was recently arrested on multiple charges of child sex abuse, also served as the prosecution lawyer for one of Thaufeeq’s alleged victims.
Thaufeeq formerly hosted a daily Quran teaching programme on Television Maldives (TVM) for school children every evening after Isha prayers. Prior to his arrest, he also led Friday prayers and conducted sermons.
A police media official said that police would not disclose details regarding the case, but said the lawyer Abdulla Shiyaz had appeared as both Thaufeeq’s defence and as prosecution for one of the girls he allegedly molested.
Legal Officer of the Criminal Court, Mohamed Amir, said the police concerns had been presented to the Criminal Court.
“There were two defence lawyers for Thaufeeq, Abdulla Shiyaz and Ali Shah,” he said. “Police have claimed Abdulla Shiyaz appeared in court as the prosecution lawyer for an alleged victim of the accused. When the investigation is ongoing, the victim has the right to present her own lawyer if she wishes so.’’
Amir said the police investigation team have claimed that the issue could obstruct the police investigation and influence the witnesses.
‘’It is against the code of ethics of lawyers to appear as both prosecution and defence lawyer at the same case,’’ Amir noted.
However Abdulla Shiyaz told local news paper Haveeru that he denied the charges and claimed it was an attempt by police to denigrate his reputation.
He said that when he appeared in court on the victim’s side, he did not know that it was a case related to Thaufeeq.