Overturned travel ban on ex-VP to be appealed to Supreme Court

Former Maldivian Vice President Abdulla Jihad. (File Photo/Sun/Fayaz Moosa)

The Prosecutor General’s Office has made an appeal in the case of former Vice President Abdulla Jihad after the High Court overturned a travel ban on Jihad. 

The PG Office appealed to the Supreme Court after the High Court overturned the travel ban. The lower courts had ordered Jihad’s passport to be held after he made a request to travel to Dubai for medical purposes at a timer when a trial into alleged misconduct of the former vice president was underway. 

A tweet by the PG stated that it did not agree with the decision of the High Court which is why it decided to appeal. 

Jihad is accused of misconduct during circumstances beneficial to the state, which resulted in losses to the state during his time in office. Criminal Court judge Mohamed Sameer ruled in a hearing last December that Jihad could not be permitted to travel to Dubai.

The ruling was appealed to the High Court by Jihad and the appeal court today overturned the lower court’s decision two days ago. The travel ban by the Criminal Court was due to a perceived high possibility that Jihad may not return to face the charges in the case against him. 

The High Court stated that the order to hold Jihad’s passport was unlawful. The bench of the appeal court, ruling on the matter unanimously agreed that the travel ban was unlawful, although there were some differences of opinions among the justices. 

These indifferences included whether the departure ticket and submission of the official form to the Criminal Court to obtain travel permission as per the regulations and procedures of the court could be used as evidence to order a travel ban against the party requesting to travel due to the possibility that they may not return.

The justices were also conflicted over whether the charges against Jihad were major offenses. The Justices also determined that although evidence that Jihad was trying to leave the country was obtained, no evidence related to his alleged escape was presented by the prosecution to uphold the travel ban.