Former President Mohamed Nasheed has said he believes allegations made in a personal memoir by former Human Rights Minister Fathimath Dhiyana Saeed of a plot to assassinate him are “realistic”.
In an exclusive interview with Minivan News, Nasheed said he hoped the allegations would prompt a thorough criminal investigation either from parliament or other institutions.
“I see Dhiyana Saeed’s allegations as realistic. I hope that the parliament and other institutions would conduct a thorough criminal investigation. Even the CNI [Commission of National Inquiry] report as well highlights the need for such an investigation,” he said.
The memoir, which the former SAARC Secretary General shared with Minivan News, levelled serious allegations against then opposition figures, who Saeed claimed had plotted Nasheed’s fall and conspired to assassinate him.
On the allegations of threats to his life, Nasheed said he had received information from government intelligence sources of plots to assassinate him.
“I did get information from the Ministry of Defence that the intelligence got reports of planned assassination attempts. I had knowledge of this before,” he revealed.
In her memoir, Dhiyana claimed that the notion of “taking out” the former president came up during a conversation she had with a friend and a “long-standing political affiliate” whom she referred as “X”.
Asked whether he knew the identity of X, Nasheed refused to speculate.
“I don’t personally know that person. It would not be very good for me to name the person before a proper investigation. But I too have got information,” he said.
Nasheed added that resigning from the presidency had not put an end to death threats.
“Yes, I do [get threats of assassination], quite a lot actually,” he said.
Dhiyana alleged in her memoir that the controversial transfer of presidential power on February 7 was the result of a premeditated and well-orchestrated plan and questioned the findings of the Commonwealth-backed Commission of National Inquiry (CNI).
Nasheed reiterated his belief that the accusations were accurate, in line with concerns he himself had previously raised over the findings of the CNI’s report.
“After the coup, I was seeing very dirty dealings within the government. According to information I get, even now, affairs of government are being carried out in an irregular mafia style. I don’t see things happening according to government procedures,” he claimed.
Nasheed also dismissed allegations by current Defense Minister Mohamed Nazim that the former President had pressured his representative on the CNI, Ahmed ‘Gahaa’ Saeed, to influence the outcome of the inquiry.
“I did not even once call Ahmed Saeed. Not even once I called. I don’t really know how the procedure had gone from the government side,” he claimed.
Dhiyana Saeed also alleged that Defence Minister Nazim had admitted to “bugging” the office of the CNI panel in which witness testimonies were recorded.
However, Nazim dismissed the allegations in local media yesterday.
Nasheed claimed that he too had been told of the alleged surveillance measures by the government during the time the CNI was conducting its inquiry.
Nasheed was however reluctant to comment accusations Saeed had made regarding for Defense Minister Tholhath Ibrahim Kaleyfaanu’s alleged role in the controversial transfer of power on February 7. He insisted that it was not proper to accuse someone without a thorough investigation.
The former President however reiterated his allegation that his former deputy, current President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik, had been plotting his downfall for some time before February 7.
Asked why he had not taken any action taken to investigate allegations against the then-Vice President, Nasheed accused the country’s judiciary of being flawed and politicised, preventing his government from conducting an investigation.
“I was getting information that [President] Waheed was plotting something like this. Due to the way the courts were functioning, the government were unable to conduct necessary criminal investigations,” he explained.
On Dhiyana’s suggestion that only an international criminal investigation that was “independent, impartial and comprehensive” could uncover the truth, Nasheed said he doubted a positive outcome from international intervention.
“I now have a very dim view towards international community. I don’t think there is a UN resolve or an imagination in doing something good and proactive to help a country move forward. I don’t think such a vision is anymore the vision of the UN,” Nasheed claimed.
The former President has recently called for an Egyptian-style “popular uprising” to topple the “coup regime”.
“Our party now sees no other change other than a revolutionary change. We could not fire the imagination of the international community to bring an institutional change, a structural change. Their lethargy and their all time need to maintain the status-quo means we cannot bring reform to this country. So the way we see it, the best thing for the country is a revolutionary change,” he said.
Presidents Office Media Secretary Masood Imad said that he “did not wish to comment on what Nasheed had to say,” when contacted yesterday.
While Dhiyana in her memoir concurred with the formerly ruling Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP’s) insistence that Nasheed’s resignation was made “under duress” to avoid bloodshed in the capital, she stopped short of characterising the transfer of power as a “coup d’etat.”
“I weighed all this together and I could not ignore the logical conclusion – that key players had engineered and orchestrated the events, that President Nasheed had not resigned voluntarily as he asserted and that Waheed was possibly complicit. I believe further, that had President Nasheed not resigned ‘voluntarily’ that day he would have been killed in a way that would not be apparent as a killing – perhaps ‘accidentally’ in a cross-fire in the MNDF or at the hands of the enraged public in the manner of Amin Didi, the first President of the Republic,” Dhiyana concluded in her memoir.