AGO: State-funded legal aid provided for mostly minors as of August

The streets of Male' City during the hours of a vehicle ban on Eid al-Adha on July 20, 2021. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Attorney General’s Office’s (AGO) statistics show that majority of those that they have provided state-funded legal aid within this year is comprised of minors.

According to the latest statistics publicized by AGO, they have provided legal aid for a total of 140 persons as of August. Out of this – 74 are juvenile offenders who are below the age of 18.

66 people above the age of 18 – were rendered legal aid. This includes 28 individuals aged between 18 and 20; 31 individuals below the age of 50; and seven persons above the age of 51.

Legal aid has mainly been provided to both adults and juveniles in drug-related cases.

Details of cases in which the state had appointed attorneys for juvenile offenders:

  •          Drug-related cases – 40 juvenile offender
  •          Physical altercation, injuring someone – 12 juvenile offender
  •          Stealing, obtaining money through scams – 8 juvenile offender
  •          Vandalism – 4 juvenile offender
  •          Blackmailing – 3 juvenile offender
  •          Murder – 2 juvenile offender
  •          Obstruction of justice – 2 juvenile offender
  •          Sexual violence against another minor – 2 juvenile offenders

Details of cases in which the state had appointed attorneys for adults:

  •          Drug-related cases – 38 individual
  •          Sexual violence against a child – 17 individual
  •          Murder – 4 individual
  •          Stealing, scamming – 3 individual
  •          Physical altercation, injuring someone – 2 individual
  •         Terrorism related offenses – one person
  •          Rape – one person

The state is mandated by law to provide free legal aid to individuals implicated in serious crimes and to juveniles implicated in a crime if they do not have the financial capacity to hire their own attorneys. AGO denied legal aid requests for 16 people this year – for failing to meet the criteria to receive legal aid.