High Court, on Wednesday, has overturned Criminal Court’s decision to transfer Maldivian rapper Ismail Ifham Mohamed (Pest), on trial for drug trafficking, to home confinement – ordering his custody in jail pending outcome of the trial.
Pest was one of five suspects arrested by police with 2.5 kilos of drugs in an operation by the Drug Enforcement Department (DED) on February 13, 2021.
He requested transfer to home confinement citing the need to treat his tonsils.
Following his complaint over inadequate medical treatment, the prosecution requested the court that he remain in jail for the safety of the community. The prosecution also submitted documents to prove he was receiving medical treatment while in jail.
However, Criminal Court ruled in favor of Pest.
Pest, who was ordered to jail pending the outcome of trial, was transferred to home confinement for 60 days on health grounds on February 23.
The request was granted by Criminal Court under the condition he remain home unless to seek medical treatment.
Prosecution appealed Criminal Court’s decision to the High Court on February 28
At a hearing held today, High Court had overturned Criminal Court’s decision. Therefore, Pest will now be transferred back to custody pending outcome of the trial.
High Court also overturned Criminal Court’s decision to transfer another suspect in the case – Mohamed Suaid, 23, Abadhah Ufaa, Thundi, L. Gan – to home confinement today. Therefore, Suaid will also be transferred back to custody pending outcome of the trial.
High Court, in its judgment, said that they are overturning Criminal Court’s decision to transfer the two men to home confinement as the lower court’s reasoning had been unclear. They further detailed being unclear as to which aspects of the men's health conditions were probed by the lower court.
Pest was pressed with five charges; 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.
Meanwhile, Suaid was pressed with four charges; trafficking cannabis, trafficking diamorphine (heroin), trafficking a Schedule 1 drug, and use, possession and concealment of assets and money obtained through criminal means.
Pest, who rose to fame with the rap song “Reethi Kudhin” back in 2011, faces life in prison if found guilty of the charges.
He is one of Symbolic Records’ top artists and is often referred to as the “King of Rap” in Maldives.