High Court has upheld the verdict issued by Criminal Court on Chief Justice Abdulla Saeed and Justice Ali Hameed, convicted of influencing official conduct, but lowered the sentence by two degrees.
While the original sentence issued by Criminal Court was 1 year, 7 months and 6 days, High Court lowered the sentence to 1 year, 2 months and 12 days.
High Court held the verdict hearings separately for both justices.
The legal team representing the two justices had previously stated that they were not given sufficient time to prepare the defense and submit witnesses or evidence, however the verdict stated that they were given that opportunity and that the trial was not carried out in violation of the Criminal Procedures Act.
The lawyers also pointed out that the individuals who gave testimonies against the justices were not just people to testify, the court verdict stated that the witnesses have not been lawfully deemed unjust to testify.
Regarding the intent of the accused, the court verdict said any act carried out illegally; directly or indirectly, to influence a state employee will still justify it as a crime.
The judges bench on Sunday’s hearing included Chief Judge Abdulla Didi, Judge Ali Sameer, and Judge Abdul Ghani Mohamed.
According to the Judicature Act, it is mandatory for the court to reach a verdict on the judges’ case within 30 days. If the Supreme Court upholds the High Court verdict, the two justices will automatically be dismissed from office as per the recently ratified amendment brought to the Judicature Act.