Dear Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma,
New evidence has emerged which casts doubt over the validity of the final report by the Commission of National Inquiry (CoNI), published in August 2012.
Following its publication, CoNI’s report was sent to the relevant Maldivian parliamentary oversight committee, who decided to investigate the facts and procedures of the report to ensure its accuracy. Through careful review of the report, it has been revealed that vital evidence relating to CoNI’s core mandate was ignored and no explanation was given as to the reason for this, despite claims by CoNI that no information was disregarded.
CoNI’s mandate was to investigate whether President Nasheed resigned under duress, due to threats to his life, or not. The committee summoned Former Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Faseeh; Former Chief of Defense Force, Moosa Ali Jaleel; Brigadier General, Ahmed Nilam; Former Chief Superintendent of Police, Mohamed Hameed and Former Superintendent of Police, Mohamed Jinah under the power vested in a parliamentary committee by Article 99 of the Constitution.
Former Chief of Defense Force Jaleel; Former CS Hameed and Brigadier General Nilam confirmed to the committee’s investigation that there was a plot to assassinate President Nasheed and that on the 7th of February 2012, the environment was such that President Nasheed had reason to believe that his life was in danger.
This information was further verified when PPM Deputy Leader, Umar Naseer, in an interview with Minivan News, confirmed that the ousting of President Nasheed “did not happen automatically” and that “planning, propaganda and lots of work” went in to oust the constitutionally‐elected President. Mr Naseer refused to cooperate with the Commonwealth approved CoNI.
In addition, former cabinet minister (for the present government), Ms Dhiyana Saeed has published a memoir regarding the events of 7th February 2012, and states that a certain ‘Mr X and Mr Y’ (later revealed as Deputy Speaker of the Parliament, Mohamed Nazim and MP Mohamed Nasheed respectively) had spoken to her of a plan to assassinate President Nasheed, in which the present Minister of Defence and the Commissioner of Police were involved.
It is a grave matter of concern, that none of these issues were highlighted by the two observers appointed by the Commonwealth to CoNI’s investigation.
In light of the above, it is evident that the validity of the CoNI report is questionable. These are the three issues we would like to see the Commonwealth focusing on:
1. Reopening the CoNI report in the light of the latest information and establishing why these testimonies and evidence from leading members of the military and police were not included in the CoNI report.
2. Overseeing a further inquiry into the threats against the life of the former head of state, President Mohamed Nasheed.
3. Pressuring the current president to establish a caretaker government until free and fair elections can be held.
Lucy Johnson is a member of UK-based NGO, Friends of Maldives
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