Over 35 sentences not enforced, reveals Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed

Some 37 sentences remain unenforced due to lack of cooperation from the relevant authorities, Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed said at a ceremony held last night to mark the anniversary of the Criminal Court.

Judge Abdulla reportedly criticised police for incomplete investigations and lack of attention to the Constitution and the law.

The Criminal Court also lacks a suitable environment for state prosecutors and witnesses to present testimony, he said.

According to local media, Juvenile Court Chief Judge Mohamed Naeem, also president of the Judges Association, said the Maldivian judiciary is now fully independent and free of undue influences.

Prior to the adoption of the new constitution in 2008 – which separated the judiciary from the executive – Naeem said judges and state attorneys would sometimes sit together to write verdicts.

Judges also delivered verdicts and judgments based on instructions from a committee of the now-defunct justice ministry, he said.

Speaking as chief guest at the event, Naeem said judges at the Criminal Court should be provided adequate security and criticised the Supreme Court for not formulating rules on issuing risk allowances for employees in the judiciary.

Responding to criticism over delays in concluding cases, Naeem said the judiciary’s speed was not slow when the number of judges, staff and resources at its disposal was taken into consideration.

The court’s annual report was released at last night’s event and certificates were awarded to staff at the Criminal Court in recognition of their work.

In March 2011, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) demoted Naeem from the Civil Court to the Juvenile Court as a disciplinary measure. A week later, the JSC appointed Naeem chief judge at the Juvenile Court.