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Lawyers granted 30 mins under state of emergency; Police

Maldives Police Service on Tuesday has confirmed that lawyers representing suspects charged with various offenses will receive a maximum of 30 minutes for client-advocate meetings under state of emergency.

The Indian Ocean archipelago has been under a presidential decreed state of emergency stretching for a 15-day duration under which more than 20 constitutional and several judicature rights have been temporarily suspended. The Criminal Procedure Act is among the suspended rights under the emergency.

Police had also denied rumors and allegations that the authorities have been restricting client-advocate meetings, adding the right has been granted to all suspects pending trial or investigation.

"Under the state of emergency, lawyers will be granted a maximum of 30 minutes to meet their clients excluded from the investigation procedure," Police said.

Furthermore police authority added that lawyers will be given the opportunity to meet their clients upon request from the incarcerated suspects on days police is not proceeding with interrogation.

Police had placed restraint of client-advocate meeting rights, by decreeing a 30 minute window. However several legal experts and advocates have noted that the lawyer-client privileges cannot be narrowed under state of emergencies.