Lower court suspends High Court order; releases suspect

The Hithadhoo Magistrate Court has suspended a High Court order and released a man in custody.

Rushan Ahmed Didi from S. Hithadhoo was arrested in connection to 98 kg of drugs smuggled into the Maldives. The High Court, in October 2020, ordered Rushan Ahmed Didi from S. Hithadhoo to be remanded in custody pending the outcome of the trial. The High Court issued the order when the State appealed a ruling by Hithadhoo Magistrate Court to release him.

Hithadhoo Magistrate Court Monday suspended the High Court order and released Rushan to seek medical services. The court set specific conditions in its order.

'The High Court order number HC-A/216/2020 that ordered for Rushan Ahmed Didi to be remanded into custody pending the outcome of the trial is hereby suspended for a period of 90 days, and the court orders for him to be released for medical reasons,' the order issued by Magistrate Rafeeduddin Ahmed said.

The conditions set by the court include not being in contact with any witnesses for the next three months and staying home between 12 am, and 6 am.

According to the Judicature Act of the Maldives, a lower court cannot suspend a higher court order. The lower court is mandated to follow the higher court decision on any matter.

Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem will be appealing the new lower court order. The PG said a lower court magistrate could not suspend a high court order in effect and said a valid reason must be provided to release a suspect. Shameem said the matter would be appealed at the High Court, and a complaint would be lodged at the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).