President Mohamed Nasheed has been denied a practical opportunity to lodge an appeal at the High Court and therefore decided the appeal could not be filed without the full case report and adequate time for the legal counsels to prepare the appeal.
As the case report of Criminal Court case number Cr-C/2015/132 is needed to appeal the verdict delivered on 13 March 2015 at the High Court, a request was lodged at the Criminal Court on 15 March 2015. To date, the Criminal Court has not released the report.
President Mohamed Nasheed believes the most important document required to appeal his conviction on terrorism charges is the court’s report.
Without the report, it would not be possible to compare the information in it with how things truly transpired at court. The report includes witness testimony, statements from both sides about the documentary evidence, and rulings made by judges during the trial concerning the proceedings.
We note with concern that the Criminal Court has repeatedly obstructed President Nasheed’s constitutional right to appeal and has been imposing administrative restrictions by failing to provide the court report to date.
As the case being prepared for the appeal is based on all statements made during the trial at the lower court, the trial’s procedures, the submitted evidence, and the determination of the validity of circumstantial evidence, sufficient time is needed to study the report and prepare the points of appeal.
During the High Court’s appeal process, President Nasheed’s lawyers would only have the opportunity to argue within the parameters of the points raised at the initial filing of the appeal. A point that had not been included in the appeal could not be argued at the High Court.
President Nasheed believes that he will be given the full report some day, and once the report is made available, he will be able to prove his innocence. President Nasheed also believes that awaiting the outcome of other trials ongoing at the Criminal Court regarding Judge Abdulla Mohamed being taken into MNDF custody is important for an absolute defence.