President Nasheed will appeal the verdict delivered by Criminal Court on 13 March 2015, sentencing him for 13 years imprisonment on the charge of terrorism. The irregularities in the proceedings, based on procedural law and substantive law were such that President Nasheed was denied of the basic principles of fair trial and due process.
According to Circular No. 4/2010 (21 March 2010) of the Supreme Court, parties should be provided with the judgment along with the ratio decidendi at the time of the delivery of the verdict. However, judgment with ratio decidendi was provided on 19 March 2015, 6 days after the verdict. When the request to obtain the full case report was made, Criminal court responded that the full case report would be provided within 7 to 14 days.
President Nasheed has till to date not been provided with the full case report. The full case report would include the testimonies of prosecutor’s witness which was recounted by the Judge wrongly, submissions made regarding documentary evidence, closing statement submitted by the prosecution, detailed findings of the judges with reference to the evidences and conflicting rulings made on many aspects of procedural law which was contended during the trial. Additionally, since the 1st and last three hearings were conducted in the absence of legal representation, the arguments and submissions made by the Prosecution regarding witness testimonies, documentary evidence and closing statement will be known only after we receive the full case report. Since, at High Court, only issues appealed during the initial submission will be taken into account and issues contended within the subsequent hearings will only be considered at the discretion of the judges it is imperative President Nasheed receives the Case Report for the preparation of his appeal.
The legal team is extremely concerned over hindrance to the progression of appeal due to the delay in providing President Nasheed with the full case report. The appeal will be due onThursday, 26th March 2015 as the High Court has confirmed that the 10 days appeal period should be counted excluding public holidays.
Currently, President Nasheed is given the right to appeal, nevertheless this right is being effectively denied by abusing judicial administrative procedure, and ultimately, denying adequate time for the legal counsels to prepare the appeal. We are very concerned that the current events leading towards denial of adequate time and the possibility to prepare and present his defence effectively deprived of his right to appeal.