Yoga Day violence: Two sheikhs receive one month to review case

Fazloon Mohamed (L) and Adam Nishan (R).

The two Maldivian religious scholars charged with incitement to terrorism in connection to the mob attack on a Yoga Day event in Male’ City last year have received one month to review the case documents.

The first pre-trial hearing in the case against Sheikh Fazloon Mohamed and Sheikh Adam Nishan was held at the Criminal Court on October 17, 2022. Both Fazloon and Nishan had attended the court without legal representation, and asked for time to hire a lawyer.

Judge Hussain Faiz Rashad concluded the hearing after granting them 10 days to hire a lawyer.

The second hearing in the case was held three months later Wednesday.

Both sheikhs attended the hearing with Ali Saeed as their defense lawyer.

At the hearing, Saeed said that the prosecution had submitted a lot of documents in the case, and asked for 10 days to review the documents and prepare a proper defense.

Judge Faiz said the next hearing would be held after providing the defense sufficient time to review case documents.

“The next hearing will be held after allowing sufficient time to review the case,” said Faiz.

Faiz said the next hearing would be held in March, and instructed the defense to prepare to present witnesses if they wished to enter any testimony into evidence.

The yoga event, organized by the Indian Cultural Center and the Sports Ministry, was held on the morning of June 21, 2022, and was attended by dozens of participants, foreign ambassadors including Indian High Commissioner Munu Mahawar, diplomats, and government officials.

A mob of angry protestors had stormed the stadium, and threatened and assaulted some of the participants, and destroyed property.

Total 18 people have been charged in connection to the mob attack, including Fazloon and Nishan.