The Supreme Court upheld the appeal by the attorney general in an ongoing serious criminal case related to the naturalisation of foreign investors, allowing police documents to be retained.

In its decision, the Supreme Court set aside a first instance court decision which rejected the renewal of the retention of a large number of documents by the police. The case in question concerns serious criminal offences linked to the naturalising of foreign investors, the Supreme Court said.

In annulling the decision of the trial court, the Supreme Court found that it had acted in excess of its powers, adding that it had “failed to focus on the single and essential” issue, meaning whether further retention of the documents was justified.

It further ruled that not every piece of evidence should be linked to every offence that it relates to or tends to prove. The procedure for withholding evidence should not become an extensive complicated procedure that can “possibly prejudge possible future hearings where the relevance of evidence sought to be adduced is judged”, the Supreme Court said.

Furthermore, this decision makes it clear that, the retention and disposal of property seized during the execution of a search warrant does not relate to a civil dispute but to a criminal one.