High Court letter reveals PG Bisham gave false information to Parliament

A letter sent by the High Court has revealed that Prosecutor General (PG) Aishath Bisham provided false information to the Parliament's Judiciary Committee on missing journalist Ahmed Rilwan's abduction.

PG pressed criminal charges against two individuals on the grounds that they were involved in abducting Miniwan News journalist Rilwan. However, the Criminal Court acquitted both suspects of all charges. PG had previously announced that they will be appealing the Criminal Court decision at the High Court.

Rilwan's mother sought information from the High Court regarding the appeal, and the High Court responded to the inquiry via a letter on Thursday. The response sent to Rilwan's mother said the court's records show that the Prosecutor General's Office had neither appealed nor requested to appeal the Criminal Court's decision at the High Court. AVAS has obtained a copy of the aforementioned response sent by the High Court, signed by registrar Mariyam Afsha.

When summoned and questioned by the parliament's judiciary committee last month, PG Bisham said the state has requested the High Court for permission to appeal Criminal Court's decision.

PG Bisham further voiced several concerns regarding the case, and said several protocols were foregone during the initial stages of investigation of the case. The concerns were shared with then commissioner of police and then president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gyyoom in writing, said Bisham, and presented a copy of the letter to the Parliament.

Bisham added that charges were filed at the PG Office by police to meet the deadline to file the case at court, after the criminal procedural code came into effect, and a certain time limit was imposed on pressing charges.

PG Bisham also said that as Rilwan's case is being investigated by a Presidential Commission, she believes that the process followed will be different for the case.

In response to the High Court'e letter, PG has since claimed that the letter sent by the High court contains false information and took to twitter to clarify that the issue.

In their tweet, PG Office said the information provided by PG Bisham at the judiciary committee was correct. They confirmed that the office sought permission to appeal at the High Court on 2nd august 2018, on the same day that Criminal Court acquitted the two suspects. The High Court responded to the request four days later on 6th August, said PG.

High court then released a statement on Friday stating that the Prosecutor General had informed the High Court that they intended to appeal the case, and sought permission to appeal the case once the case report was ready.

In High Court's response to the request, they had informed PG Office that if a case is appealed after the ten day period granted to file an appeal, a request seeking permission to appeal the case must be filed, after which a decision will be made accordingly, said the High Court.

The court said no further communication took place between the court and PG Office on the issue. While an year has passed since the communication, the state has not appealed or requested to appeal the case at the court, said the High Court.