Fonadhoo MP Moosa Siraj has expressed concern that far extending powers were being granted without the dismissal of the Prosecutor General.
Siraj was speaking at the first reading of the amendments proposed for the Anti-Terrorism Act by the government. He noted that this was the same Prosecutor General who had wrongly interpreted the Terrorism law and charged several political figures during the previous administration.
"I am concerned that these powers are handed over to the Prosecutor General. I believe that the PG will be dismissed by this parliament. Anything other than granting these new powers with a new PG is concerning for me." said Siraj.
The MP stated that the current PG had advocated against some political figures and used the Anti-Terrorism Act without taking into account any of the fundamental rights granted. He also stated that some changes need to be brought to the proposed amendments to the act, including the 48 hour detention period.
Siraj then stated that granting police such powers during a time when the public confidence in the institution was something to think about. He stated that it should be someone above the rank of Sub-Inspector who should be able to issue arrest orders without a court warrant due to fears of power abuse. Siraj then said that the burden of proof being reduced by the amendments was also something to be concerned about.
The amendments by the government have seen the crime of terrorism be given a set wide definition. Under the amendment, a person who travels to war or remains in such an area or has connections with warring militants can be charged with terrorism.