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Judicial CP - July 2007

Corpun file 19600

Evening Weekly Haveeru, Malé, 31 July 2007

Another pedophile given banishment sentence

MALE, July 31, 2007 (Haveeru News Service) -- A pedophile was today given a two-year banishment sentence by the criminal court after he was found guilty of sexually molesting a child. The case comes in the heels of another recent case which has caused public concern after the court sentenced four adult men to eight months banishment for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl.

Judge Ali Rasheed Hussain today also sentenced defendant Ali Mohamed, from Raa atoll Meedhoo, to receive 19 lashes, as prescribed by Islamic Sharia (law).

The state prosecutor charged the defendant for overpowering a female school student when she went to Ali's home to gather information for a school project in August 2004.

The Judge also found Ali guilty of continuing a sexual relationship with the minor till April 2005; Ali was found guilty of having sex with the underage girl "two to three times per week" during the months-long "relationship."

Three witnesses appeared in court today to testify against Ali.

Initially, Ali denied the charges. He had also waived his right to a lawyer.

The court did not reveal the age of the victim but a Haveeru reporter attending the hearing said that the victim was presumed to be in her teens.

The court's ruling today is expected to cause controversy among Maldives' society again as Rasheed's verdict comes amidst the government's assurance to the public that it was doing everything it can behind the scenes to pressure the courts to give prison sentences to pedophiles, instead of banishment to outer islands where the pedophiles will be free to prey on new victims.

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