The High Court has overturned the decision by the Criminal Court to deny the request to have Ibrahim Faih Nizam – suspected of involvement in the murder of a young man – jailed pending the outcome of his trial.
Faih, 26, who has been charged with assault with a sharp-edged weapon in connection to serial gang fights that broke out in Male’ City in February, is also a suspect in a murder which took place while he had been on the run.
The High Court ordered the Criminal Court on Tuesday to make a decision regarding Faih’s confinement if the police re-submit a petition to have him jailed pending the outcome of trial within the next seven days.
The court ruled that judges must consider two main points when deciding on the detention of a murder suspect –suspicion of the crime and whether there are sufficient grounds to have a suspect detained pending outcome of a trial.
If these two conditions are met, judges have no choice but to choose to have murder suspects jailed pending the outcome of trial, said the court.
The High Court also said that the constitution allows judges to have suspects jailed pending the end of investigation and the trial, if there are sufficient grounds to believe the suspect poses a threat to society or could attempt to intimidate witnesses.
The three-judge bench – composed of Judge Mohamed Faisal, Judge Mohamed Niyaz and Judge Mohamed Saleem - found the Criminal Court’s decision was in violation of the Act on Prohibition of Intimidation and Possession of Dangerous and Sharp-edged Weapons.
Police had made an announcement seeking the public’s help in finding Faih on February 15, following his suspected involvement in a fight between two rival gangs.
He was on the run when he became one of the suspects in the murder of a young man in shop in Maafannu district.
Mohamed Ahmed Didi (Naushad), 30, Izmeer, S. Hithadhoo, was stabbed inside a shop located near the BG Garage in Maafannu district of Male’ at around 09:30 pm on February 24. He succumbed to his injuries on February 27.
Eye witnesses report two people had been actively involved in the stabbing.
The second suspect, a 20-year-old male, was arrested on February 26. He had been remanded in jail pending the outcome of his trial.
Faih surrendered to the police on March 21.
In November, the Criminal Court denied a petition to have him detained pending the outcome of trial, citing that it would be unfair to have him detained indefinitely, given that the investigation into the case has already dragged on for eight months, and because of the probability it could last longer.
The court ordered him to a custodial jail for 45 days, instead.