The High Court has dismissed an appeal and ordered a Maldivian national to pay back MVR 5.4 million (US$350,000) he took from a Swiss woman after promising to marry her.
In June, the Civil Court ordered a man identified by the court as Ibrahim Ali to pay Ursula Susanna Köpfli the money after he was found guilty of swindling it from her.
Köpfli alleged that Ibrahim had taken money from her on several occasions in large sums, and had promised that he would marry her.
She also told the court that Ibrahim had told her that he was single, but that she had later found out that he was married and had children.
The Civil Court ruling ordered Ibrahim to pay back US$58,800, 7,000 euros and 252,196.95 Swiss francs he had taken from Köpfli since 2007.
The court also ordered Ibrahim to pay back a sum of MVR 1,500 (US$ 97.27) in legal fees and 2,420 Swiss Francs in bank transfer charges.
Ibrahim however appealed the Civil Court’s verdict at the High Court.
In the appeal, Ibrahim argued that the Civil Court had failed to establish that the sum of money had to be paid back, or that the money he received was by his request.
He also contended that the Civil Court had failed to prove that the money was deposited in return for his agreement to marry Köpfli, and argued that there was no legal basis for the court to order him to reimburse the plaintiff.
However, the High Court in its ruling on Sunday upheld the Civil Court’s decision and stated that documents presented to the court clearly implied that there were money transfers taking place since 2007.
The ruling further stated that Köpfli had said in court that she had sent the money because Ibrahim had told her that he was unmarried.
In its ruling the High Court stated that Ibrahim had build a house from the money he had fraudulently collected, which was also built on the understanding that he would marry Köpfli.
Ibrahim was not present at the hearings, and the three-judge panel issued the verdict in absentia.