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Page added on February 7, 2013

Court released child sex abuse suspect to house arrest in victim’s home

Court released child sex abuse suspect to house arrest in victim’s home thumbnail

The High Court this week rejected a request to place a male suspect accused of sexually abusing an 11-year old relation in custody. The suspect was previously held under house arrest at the same property where his alleged victim lived.

The Prosecutor General (PG’s) Office confirmed that following a remand hearing on Tuesday (February 5), the suspect had been released from the house arrest – with no restrictions currently placed upon his movement ahead of his unscheduled trial.

The remand hearing took place at a time when the PG’s Office is already facing government criticism for pursuing a case against a 15 year-old minor on charges of having “consensual sexual relations”.

The government, which has said it is in the process of reviewing and amending laws on sexual abuse with authorities including the Ministry of Gender, Family and Human rights and Islamic Ministry, today accused state prosecutors of showing “bad judgement” in charging the 15 year-old girl.

The two cases are the latest in a line of high profile sexual abuse trials concerning minors, which have met with international condemnation.

The 15 year-old presently facing charges of having “consensual sexual relations” has also been identified as the victim of child sex abuse in an unrelated criminal case also being pursued by authorities.

The PG’s Office confirmed this week that after reviewing the charges against the 15 year-old girl, a decision had been taken to proceed with her trial at the Juvenile Court over charges of fornication. The PG’s Office was unable to comment further.

However, a source familiar with the matter told Minivan News that the charges against the minor had to be pursued because the girl had confessed to having consensual sex.  The charges relate to an incident reported before her alleged sexual abuse.

Meanwhile, the PG’s Office confirmed to Minivan News that the High Court rejected a request on February 5 to retain a sexual abuse suspect – believed to be an uncle of the victim – after it emerged he had been kept under house arrest in the same property as the 11 year-old victim.

A source with knowledge of the case said that the court released the suspect after enquiring as to why police and state prosecutors had failed to raise concerns about the house arrest earlier.

With no date yet scheduled for the suspect’s trial, the outcome of the remand hearing has meant the suspect had no restrictions on his movement, according to the source.

Minivan News understands the victim has since been moved to a new location on a separate island.

Government legal review

With these two high profile sexual abuse cases ongoing in the courts, the Maldives government has maintained its commitment to reviewing related laws in the Maldives.

President’s Office Media Secretary Masood Imad told Minivan News today that certain laws in the country, which he has previously criticised as treating sexual abuse victims as perpetrators, would be amended following consultations with relevant government authorities.

“We will be holding a one day seminar with the Islamic Ministry either sometime next week or the week after,” Masood said.

The government last month announced its intention to review the laws within the space of a few weeks. However, Masood added that there were many “pressing issues” requiring its attention at the present time.

Minister of Islamic Affairs Sheikh Mohamed Shaheem Ali and Acting Minister of Gender, Family and Human Rights,  Dr Mariyam Shakeela were not responding to calls from Minivan News at time of press.

“Bad judgement”

Despite its stated commitment to review laws concerning sexual abuse in the country, Masood added that the PG’s Office itself remained an independent entity that pursued cases without government involvement.

He added that prosecutors had shown “bad judgement” in pursuing the case involving the 15 year-old while other matters were still pending.

Highlighting what he perceived to be more pressing issues for the PG’s Office, Masood raised concerns against MPs Abdulla Jabir and Hamid Abdul Ghafoor – both aligned with the opposition Maldvian Democratic Party (MDP) – over their alleged  refusal to provide a urine sample after they were arrested under suspicion of drinking alcohol in November 2012.

MPs Jabir – at the time an elected representative for the government-aligned Jumhoree Party (JP) – and Hamid were arrested back in November along with eight others on the island of  island of Hodaidhoo in Haa Dhaal Atoll, on suspicion of drug and alcohol offences.

“[The PG's Office] should be taking [to court] the issue of suspects refusing to give urine tests after being found at drunken parties,” Masood claimed.

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12 Comments on "Court released child sex abuse suspect to house arrest in victim’s home"

  1. Ainth on Thu, 7th Feb 2013 8:47 PM 

    What kind of propegenda is this?
    It says the suspect is released under HOUSE ARREST. Then it claims that that there is no restriction placed on his movement?
    Then it claims that he is released to the same house as the victim. Later it says that the victim is in another island.
    Utter rubish by this unaccredited website.

  2. Larry[geordie]Dodds on Thu, 7th Feb 2013 8:49 PM 

    Another example of why the Maldives needs a clear-out of judiciary,from the top to the bottom,,and after them,start on the politicians..The next election would be a great time to start..

  3. Damn on Thu, 7th Feb 2013 11:23 PM 

    Its completely sick of the court to do this… but The victims on another island.
    So the headlines are extremely misleading.

    This kind of sensationalist journalism belongs on the dailymail,not in our country

  4. Abdulla Ali on Thu, 7th Feb 2013 11:47 PM 

    Larry, bud, prosecuting the child abusers is against islamic tenets(or that’s what the enemy says. No one has questioned them and survived so far). Nasheed was hit with a coup d’etat because he had the guts to back an investigation against the head child abuser in Maldives.

  5. Wives and Concubines on Fri, 8th Feb 2013 8:42 AM 

    with authorities including the Ministry of Gender, Family and Human rights and “Islamic Ministry”

    Doubt it lol

  6. Patriot on Fri, 8th Feb 2013 9:04 AM 

    The government, PG and everyone else must let more children to be abused!
    Then only judges can eat more from all ends!
    Unless and otherwise people rise against these judges, break a few limbs, or let them know what it taste when their children are molested, or given an illegitimate child to live with for the rest of their lives!
    It is not the courts that are sick!
    It is we, who are sick!

  7. void ab initio on Fri, 8th Feb 2013 12:09 PM 

    The Legislature needs to wake up to the call of JUSTICE. We have a former President who attempted and failed to reform the judiciary during his half-life tenure. The only remaining constitutional authority is the Majlis to attend to this urgent national call. Is it not time that all the political parties in their manifesto create a platform for judicial reform? There is a general and widespread discontent and disillusionment with the JUDICIARY among the general population. The Security Forces, including the ARMY and the POLICE cannot deliver their responsibilities and the executive arm is paralysed. MP Nasheed heads the Majlis Committee vested with the constitutional responsibility to hold the JUDICIARY accountable and what has he done? The lawyers are paralysed by the bullying tactics of the JUDICIARY. If this status prevails longer there is no way any one will place trust in JUDICIARY. To my mind, the only viable solution is for the Parliamentary Committee on Independent Institutions to bring the JUDGES, one by one to the Committee and hold closed door meetings to question what they have done, including the allegations in the JSC. Clearly to start, the JSC members have to be brought to this Committee. Already, it is evident from the records of the Committee that JSC Chair SC Justice Adam failed to respond to the queries made to him by MPs in this Committee. Why can’t the Committee compile its report and floor it to the Majlis for a vote. Remove corrupt judges from the Bench and replace them. If a political party refuses this, well, the constituents have a clear case to veto such an MP from a vote at 2014 elections. Unless our political leaders step up to the plate to reform JUDICIARY, the situation will deteriorate by the day!

  8. ahmed on Fri, 8th Feb 2013 1:52 PM 

    The government enjoys such releases anything to trouble civilians….

  9. Mohamed Rasheed on Sat, 9th Feb 2013 8:18 PM 

    Unacceptable!

  10. MM Lee on Sat, 9th Feb 2013 11:01 PM 

    This is totally evil and confuse!
    How can this happen in a beautiful country like Maldives?

  11. i on Sun, 10th Feb 2013 3:59 PM 

    what the…Abdulla Jabir and Hamid Abdul Ghafoor refuse to give urine sample for alcohol test…no fu__ing kidding..

  12. K on Fri, 22nd Feb 2013 7:47 PM 

    Strange that masood thinks its more pressing to get urine samples than protect our innocent kids who’s lives e being ruined by sexual predators!! Do u have any idea how sexual abuse affects a child’s life and his/her family? Sad to think abt the state of this country …


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