In a press conference held this morning, members of the Commission of National Inquiry (CNI) stated they have been having experiencing difficulties in getting the phone call recordings from the Telecommunications Authority (TAM).
However, the members said that the TAM had provided them with the telephone call logs.
“We are having difficulties in getting the phone call recordings. [TAM] does not see the importance of having a [regulation to release call recordings]. Apparently they can’t forward us the call recordings,” Dr Ibrahim Yasir said.
He further said that the CNI has been discussing with TAM on how they could share the recordings.
Speaking in the press conference, co-chair G P Selvam, a retired Singaporian Judge, stated that he was “trying to release a report that all members of the commission agrees to” but said that it was not “something he can promise”.
He also added that CNI will complete its investigation and send its report to the authorities on August 29, but the report would be publicly released on August 30.
Selvam stated that the press conference was the Commission’s final press conference before the release of its findings. It would not state against whom the state should press charges – this was for the Prosecutor General (PG) to decide, he said.
“This is not a criminal investigation, and we don’t have the authority to call on the PG to press charges against specific people,” he said.
Asked if the report would be released in a fashion that would ease the ongoing political tensions, Selvam said the CNI did not need to see what was going on in the current political situation, as its only focus was to see whether the former President Nasheed was toppled illegitimately or not.
“We will not release a timeline, we will release a full report, and the CNI will not consider what may happen after the report is released,” Selvam said.
“We do not want to omit any names, but it may be we will not be able to include all 260 individuals who were interviewed. We will not keep from disclosing any information with the excuse of national interest,” he added.
Dr Ali Fawaz Shareef in the press conference stated that they would release one report, and that there would not be a separate report for the authorities.
He further stated that the commission has already interviewed 269 people, and only 16 people remains to be interviewed.
The members also highlighted that two institutions had not cooperated with the inquiry, but said that in general most institutions were very supportive.
They also highlighted that the commission had received reports published by others, including the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP)’s report on the transfer of power written by two former ministers, Ameen Faisal and Mohamed Aslam.
During the press briefing, the members of the CNI announced that Maldives National Defense Force (MNDF) Major General Ahmed Shiyam had shared his bank statement with the commission.
Shiyam had told the CNI that he had no objection to revealing his account details to the public, and therefore Selvam said that the CNI report would include an attached copy of his bank statement.
“Major General Shiyam has told us that he has no objection to revealing the details of his bank accounts to the public,” Selvam said.
He further added that there were several other notable figures who had agreed to share their bank statements with the commission, but did not reveal their names.
CNI deadline August 29
Initially, the commission was mandated to release its findings on July 31, but CNI members stated that their final report will be delayed, after hundreds of people have come forward offering new information.
CNI Co-chair Selvam at the time said that the new date for the report’s completion would be the end of August, which would be discussed with the government. The original deadline was July 31.
Former President Mohamed Nasheed’s member on the Commission, Ahmed ‘Gahaa’ Saeed, said at the time that 244 people had registered to provide information to the commission following the reforming of the CNI.
“There has been a lot of interest. We will speak to each and every single one,” he said.
The new names joined the 87 spoken to by the government’s original three member panel, taking the total number of contributors to 331.
“That’s one contributor for every 1000 of population,” Saeed remarked.
Following the remarks by the commission, President Mohamed Waheed Hassan extended the deadline by which the CNI must conclude its report into February’s transfer of power by August 30, 2012.
President’s Office confirmed yesterday that Dr Waheed had issued a decree approving the extension of the report’s deadline. Once complete, the findings are to be submitted to President Waheed, Parliamentary Speaker Abdulla Shahid and the prosecutor general and attorney general.
The first three-member CNI was appointed by President Mohamed Waheed, following a police and military mutiny and Nasheed’s resignation, in what he and his party have described as a coup d’état.
Facing pressure from the Commonwealth and civil society NGOs, the government eventually agreed to reform the commission to include a retired Singaporean judge and a representative for Nasheed.
The former CNI subsequently released a ‘timeline’ into events that took place from January 16 to February 7. The MDP accused the commission of trying to prejudice the work of new commission, and then released its own version of events in response – the ‘Ameen- Aslam’ report based on interviews with the security services. The government described the publication of this report as a “terrorist act”.