High Court upholds order to jail rapper Pest pending outcome of trial

Ismail Ifham Mohamed (Pest). (Photo/Symbolic Records)

High Court has upheld Criminal Court’s order to jail well-known rap artist Ismail Ifhaam Mohamed (Pest) who is facing multiple drug-related charges – pending the outcome of his trial.

The High Court had reviewed the Criminal Court’s order following an appeal submitted by Pest.

All three judges who had reviewed the case had unanimously supported the Criminal Court’s decision. The judges’ bench included Justice Hathif Hilmy, Justice Shuaib Zakariyya, and Justice Fathimath Faruheeza.

Pest and four additional suspects were arrested in a joint operation by Police Intelligence and Drug Enforcement Department on February 13.

Police arrested them with 2.5 kg of drugs. The drugs were found after extensive searches from four residences in Male' City, a motorcycle, and a boat docked at the North Harbor. 

In High Court’s decision today, they noted that two factors needed to be considered when deciding on the custody of a person. The first is whether or not there is strong evidence against the accused and the second is whether there are reasons to keep the accused in custody in reference to Article 49 of the Maldivian Constitution.

Evidence presented against Pest noted in the Criminal Court’s decision included that the Police had seized drugs from a house allegedly connected to Pest; a water tank boarded on a boat with the participation of Pest had contained enough drugs to consider ‘trafficked’; and CCTV footage submitted by the Prosecutor General’s Office to the Criminal Court in relation to the case.

Hence, High Court noted that there was sufficient evidence against Pest to keep in custody pending the outcome of his trial – as the Criminal Court had already decided previously.

Pest has five charges against him; trafficking cannabis, using cannabis, trafficking diamorphine (heroin), trafficking a Schedule 1 drug, and use, possession, and concealment of assets and money obtained through criminal means.

Criminal Court has yet to make a ruling on the case.