Parliament’s ‘241’ security services oversight committee has canceled a confidential meeting that was to be held today, after summoning Police Commissioner Ahmed Faseeh and Chief of Defence Force Major General Moosa Ali Jaleel for questioning over their handling of the current political deadlock.
Commissioner Faseeh was to be summoned at 4:30pm and the Major Jaleel was to be summoned at 6:30pm, but the the committee concluded its meeting the moment it started.
Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Ahmed Shifaz said that the committee meeting was cancelled on a request by MDP MPs.
“Because there are two MPs charged with criminal offences, we recommended the committee cancel the meetings,” said Shifaz. “It does not make much sense when two MPs accused of criminal offences summon the Police Commissioner and Chief of Defense in order to question them.”
Jumhooree Party (JP) MP Gasim Ibrahim and People’s Alliance (PA) MP Abdulla Yameen were charged last week for bribery and treason and are currently under house arrest while police investigate the matter.
Parliamentary regulations state that detained MPs must be released to attend parliamentary proceedings and committee hearings, and initial attempts by police to retain them in custody were overruled in the High Court last week.
As Gasim and Yameen are members of the opposition-led parliamentary committee, they can thus be temporarily freed to question their captors, who, according to article 98(a) of the Constitution, “must respond under oath truthfully to questions put to them and to produce documents, required by the People’s Majlis relating to the due performance of the obligations and responsibilities of such person.”
Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Ahmed Mahlouf said MDP MPs invaded the meeting and disrupted it.
“They first removed the board on the outside wall of the committee room,” said Mahloof. “Then they all went inside the room and disrupted the meeting.”
Mahlouf said that most of the MDP MPs who disrupted the meeting were not members of the committee.
A small gathering of MDP supporters gathered outside the parliament prior to the start of the the meeting.
Members of the committee include DRP MPs Ali Waheed and Yousuf Naeem, People’s Alliance (PA) MPs Abdulla Yameen and Moosa Zameer, Jumhooree Party MP Gasim Ibrahim, Independent MP Ibrahim Riza, and MDP MPs ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik, Alhan Fahmy and Mohamed ‘Colonel’ Nasheed.