The state has changed the bribery charge against Dhiggaru MP Faris Maumoon after his lawyer and many others called for his release citing he was not charged with the crime he was accused of.
The MP remains in police custody pending the outcome of his trial on the orders of the Criminal Court.
He was arrested on the accusation of offering bribes, but was charged under Article 510 (a) of the Penal Code, which refers to the crime of accepting bribes.
Faris’s lawyer Maumoon Hameed highlighted the issue and filed a request with the Criminal Court demanding the MP’s release.
However, the Prosecutor General (PG)’s Office has changed the charge and Faris is now being charged with offering bribes under Article 510 (b) of the Penal Code.
PG Office said the amendment was made without withdrawing the court case.
If Faris is found guilty of the charge, he will face a prison sentence up to three years, two months and twelve days, and he will subsequently lose his parliamentary seat.
Police arrested Faris on July 18, after almost a four-hour search at his apartment in M. Snow Rose. After the search police took the house’s CCTV system, a laptop, pen drive and some bank-related documents for the investigation.
The MP is also standing trial on the accusation of using divided ruling party PPM’s logo and flag without permission.
Faris defected to the opposition after the ruling party split last year over a leadership row between his father Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and uncle President Abdulla Yameen.