The High Court has stated that the consent of the suspect is necessary for surveillance requests.
Maldives Police Service recently requested the Criminal Court’s permission to surveil an individual who publicly supported the extremist ideologies of the Islamic State (IS) on Social Media and threatened terror.
The surveillance request includes listening to the suspect’s phone calls and monitoring text conversations via the Communication Authority. However, this request was dismissed by the Criminal Court.
Regarding the appeal of the Criminal Court’s initial verdict, the High Court’s verdict stated that the individual’s consent to surveillance would eliminate the need for a court order to obtain the required information from the Communication Authority and it ensures the privacy rights granted by the Constitution are protected.
A court order can be requested if the suspect’s consent would adversely affect the main objective of the investigation, however, this surveillance request is too speculative and far-fetched, according to the High Court.
The High Court ordered Maldives Police Service to seek the suspect’s consent in writing or recording first, and if the suspect refuses to oblige then to request a court order.