The state on Tuesday admitted to another discrepancy in the bribery case against detained Dhiggaru MP Faris Maumoon during Tuesday’s hearing.
During the hearing, MP Faris submitted the last of his 23 pre-trial motions. The motion was regarding the discrepancies in the forensic report of the MP’s phone.
The report states that Faris’ phone was confiscated on June 5, 2017, but the evidence collected from the phone were dated June 15 and July 3.
Faris’ lawyer Maumoon Hameed said his client cannot be held responsible for such an error on a report prepared by the police, and that due to the way the report is, there is room to believe that evidence have been fabricated.
In response, state attorney Aishath Mohamed said the report was prepared by a human being and therefore it was possible to make an error. Noting that the date was an error, she said that Faris’ phone was confiscated on July 5. She therefore explained that the evidence found on the phone would be from an earlier date. She then proposed to summon the police officer who prepared the forensic report to clarify the errors.
However, Maumoon Hameed objected, saying that it would create room for perjury. He also said that knowing that there was an error, it was not corrected in spite of getting the opportunity to do so.
If found guilty of offering bribes, Faris will face a prison sentence of up to three years, two months and twelve days, and will subsequently lose his parliament seat.
The MP is also standing trial on identity fraud charge for using ruling Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM)’s logo and flag "without permission". If he is found guilty, he will get a prison sentence of up to nine months and eighteen days.
Faris remains in detention since his arrest on July 18, 2017, on bribery accusation. A day after his arrest, the Criminal Court ordered to keep him detention pending the outcome of his trial.
Although the detention order was appealed, and hearings of the case concluded in November, the High Court is yet to deliver a verdict.