Prosecution blunders threaten case against dozen opposition MPs

A series blunders by the prosecution has threatened the case against a dozen opposition lawmakers charged over the clashes with the security forces outside the parliament last year.

In July last year, opposition lawmakers had stormed the parliament after police together with the military had locked up parliament to stop the impeachment of parliament speaker Abdulla Maseeh.

Prosecutors have charged all 12 lawmakers with breaching police lines and disobeying orders.

After the charges were read out during the second pre-trial hearing, the 12 defendants had said the charges were unclear.

The defence then had raised serious questions over the charge sheet saying that there were some discrepancies with the prosecution witnesses and evidence.

Next the defence had questioned the nature of the charges arguing that lawmakers entering the parliament cannot be declared as a crime.

The prosecution countered by saying the lawmakers have not been charged for entering the parliament but for breaking into a restricted zone against police orders.

However, the defence pointed out that the prosecution witnesses which included two soldiers posted at the parliament on the day and the parliament secretary general contradicted the argument.

The defence had also pointed out the Supreme Court order of February 1 which had referred to the unjust charges against the lawmakers. The defence said the part of the had not been rescinded by the remaining three judges of the top court following the arrest of two of its judge, thereby asking the court to dismiss the charges.

The court has given the prosecution until Tuesday to respond to the arguments adding that it would decide on the request to dismiss the charges during Tuesday's hearing.