High Court overrules decision to release councilor charged with child abuse

Mohamed Ahmed (MD), Vincent, GDh. Gadhdhoo.

The High Court of the Maldives has overruled a lower court decision to release GDh. Gadhdhoo Council President-elect Mohamed Ahmed. 

Mohamed Ahmed from Vincent, Gdh. Gadhdhoo was detained over from prison over child sexual abuse charges. Mohamed Ahmed won the election for the Gadhdhoo Council presidency while in prison over the charges and was released from the Maafushi Prison where he was held around two weeks ago after a court order of the Gadhdhoo Magistrate Court. 

The Prosecutor General's Office today said that upon appeal at the High Court, the decision of the Gadhdhoo Court was overruled. The High Court ordered Mohamed Ahmed to be detained pending the outcome of his trial. 

PG Office spokesperson and Public Prosecutor Ahmed Shafeeu said to Sun today that upon the decision of the High Court, Mohamed Ahmed will once again be detained. 

The charges against Mohamed Ahmed include carrying out a sexual act with a minor back in 2015 - when he had been serving as president of Gadhdhoo Council. He was later charged with showing pornographic material to a minor and possession of pornographic material in late 2020.

Mohamed Ahmed, who has previously served as the island's Councilor won the Local Council Elections held last month while in prison. He won the vote with an 85-vote margin over his closest rival, ruling MDP candidate Mohamed Rizan.

The 2015 case against him remains open at the Gadhdhoo Magistrate Court, while the trial is yet to begin in the new charges against him in 2020. Mohamed Ahmed had already been formally charged with sexual offenses when he applied to run in the council elections on behalf of opposition party PPM.

He was allowed to compete in the elections as he is yet to be convicted, which was why the Elections Commission did not make a decision regarding his candidacy. His party PPM had initially said that the charges against him would be inquired by the party as well and later said that the party had determined the Mohamed Ahmed was being framed.