The hearings on the case of the detention of former Head of the Intelligence Department Mohamed Hameed have ended in the High Court today.
Hameed had been arrested and transferred to Dhoonidhoo detention facility on suspicion of inciting civil unrest last Thursday.
After his arrest, Criminal Court had extended Hameed’s period of detention for five days.
During today’s hearing, Hameed’s attorney Ismail Visham alleged that his client’s detention period had been extended in violation of the laws.
Visham detailed that Hameed had been arrested for behavioral transgressions which cannot be constituted as a criminal offence. Hence, he stressed that Hameed cannot be arrested and detained on criminal charges.
Hameed had been arrested under Article 7 and 69 of the Police Act, but neither of the Articles mentions criminal offences, Visham added.
Visham also highlighted that in previous cases though the defendants had been accused of more serious criminal offences, they had not been detained. Hameed’s attorney noted that the Criminal Court had extended his client’s detention period for a reason not raised by the Police. To that end, Visham pointed out that Criminal Court had declared public safety and security as one reason for the detention of Hameed, but which had not been noted by the Police.
Countering Hameed’s defence, Assistant Public Prosecutor of the Prosecutor General’s Office Hussain Nashid stressed that Hameed had been arrested for allegations of a criminal offence and not behavioral misconduct.
The State attorney further detailed that the Police had stated that witness intimidation and destroying of evidence in the case was a real possibility if Hameed is not detained. Hence there were no issues in the Criminal Court declaring Hameed as a threat to public security and safety based on the account of the police, Nashid added.
High Court ended today’s hearing by declaring that the verdict would be delivered during the next session if no further issues arise.
Police had stated that Hameed was apprehended as he had leaked confidential information related to national security to be used as leverage for a certain group of people which he had acquired while during his tenure as the head of intelligence.
The Criminal court order indicated that Hameed had been the source for the information mentioned in the report of the events leading up to the transfer of power on February 7 published by two prominent members of opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP). Former National Security Advisor Ameen Faisal and former Housing Minister Mohamed Aslam had previously stated that police intelligence information had been included in their report.
Police stated that Hameed had leaked confidential information that could create tension among the institution and fuel civil unrest and that it was something forbidden to policemen by law.