High Court dismisses appeal filed over SeaLife MD's release

The High Court has dismissed the appeal filed by the State over the release of SeaLife Globa's Managing Director Ahmed 'Ammaty' Moosa.

Ahmed Moosa was arrested in February 2021 in neighboring Sri Lanka, where he was on the run for over two years after defrauding many people out of millions by stealing the booking fees paid for a proposed apartment complex in Hulhumale. A red notice to locate Ahmed Moosa was issued in 2019 by Interpol after he went on the run, and he was extradited to the Maldives in March 2021 following his arrest. The State raised 42 charges against him, and cases against Ahmed Moosa were filed at the Criminal Court on May 30, 2021.

Since his arrest in 2021, Ahmed Moosa has been released three times, most recently in March this year. Following the Criminal Court's latest decision to release him, the State filed an appeal with the High Court.

However, the High Court on Wednesday dismissed the appeal, stating that the State had filed the appeal after the window for appeal had expired.

While a 48-hour window is granted to appeal a lower court decision at a higher court, the Court said the law states that the day on which an event occurred and ended is excluded when calculating the appeal window. However, the Court said it does not state how the hours must be counted. Therefore, the time must be counted from the moment the court order was issued, the Court detailed.

The High Court said although Ahmed Moosa was released on March 20, the State filed the appeal on March 23. No public holidays or weekends passed between the issuing of the court order and the filing of the appeal, the Court said.