Chief Judge “took entire criminal justice system in his fist”: Afeef

Ministers have sought to give their legal justification for the involvement of the armed forces in the arrest of Chief Judge of the Criminal Court, Abdulla Mohamed, amid spiraling political tensions.

In a televised statement on MNBC One last night, Home Minister Hassan Afeef said military assistance was sought for “fear of loss of public order and safety and national security” on account of Judge Abdulla, who has “taken the entire criminal justice system in his fist”.

Afeef and Defence Minister Tholhath Ibrahim Kaleyfan said police requested the involvement of the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) in the arrest of Abdulla Mohamed.

Defence Minister Tholhath revealed that police sent a letter to the armed forces on Monday, January 16 “requesting assistance to carry out its legal duty under article 71 of the Police Act, stating that the Criminal Court was not cooperating with police and that as a consequence of Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed obstructing police work, the country’s internal security was threatened and police were unable to maintain public order and safety,” he said.

MNDF therefore exercised authority under chapter nine of the constitution and the Armed Forces Act of 2008 to take the judge into custody, he said.

He noted that Article 243 of the constitution charges the military “to defend and protect the Republic and its people”, while article two of the Armed Forces Act states that it must “protect the lawfully elected government of the Republic of the Maldives from any unlawful action that may in any way diminish its stature.”

Moreover, he added, the Armed Forces Act authorises the military to assist law enforcement agencies upon request, during which it would be given “all lawful powers accorded to police.”

“I assure citizens that at this critical moment the country is faced with, the armed forces will do everything it must to restore national interest and defend the lawful government,” he said in conclusion.

Afeef meanwhile listed 14 cases of obstruction of police duty by Judge Abdulla, including withholding warrants for up to four days, ordering police to conduct unlawful investigations and disregarding decisions by higher courts.

Afeef accused the judge of “deliberately” holding up cases involving opposition figures, and barring media from corruption trials.

Afeef said the judge also ordered the release of suspects detained for serious crimes “without a single hearing”, and maintained “suspicious ties” with family members of convicts sentenced for dangerous crimes.

The judge also released a murder suspect “in the name of holding ministers accountable”, who went on to kill another victim.

Afeef also alleged that the judge actively undermined cases against drug trafficking suspects and had allowed them opportunity to “fabricate false evidence after hearings had concluded”.

Judge Abdulla “hijacked the whole court” by deciding that he alone could issue search warrants, Afeef continued, and has arbitrarily suspended court officers.

The chief judge “twisted and interpreted laws so they could not be enforced against certain politicians” and stood accused of “accepting bribes to release convicts.”

Prosectutor General Ahmed Muizz has meanwhile maintained that the MNDF acted illegally, telling local media that he would comply with an order from the Criminal Court to prosecute the Chief of Defence Forces for contempt of court, as well as those officers responsible for arresting the judge.

Muizz has also asked the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) to investigate the case, stating that he would decide who to charge based on their conclusions.

“The military arrested Abdulla Gazi in violation of the Judges Act. Action will be taken against those involved,” he said.

The first case against Abdulla Mohamed was brought to the President’s Office in 2005 by then Attorney General Dr Hassan Saeed, now the leader of the Dhivehi Qaumee Party (DQP).

That complaint referred to the judge allegedly demanding that the underage victim of a sexual assault reenact her attack in the courtroom. The Judicial Services Commission (JSC) subsequently dropped the inquiry.

However in an open letter to parliament in March 2011, President’s member on the JSC and outspoken whistle-blower Aishath Velezinee claimed that the politically-manipulated JSC was protecting the judge despite the existence of “reasonable proof to show that Chief Judge of the Criminal Court Abdulla Mohamed was systematically committing the atrocity of setting free dangerous criminals and declaring them innocent with complete disregard to the evidence [presented at court].”

The JSC formed a complaints committee to investigate the cases against Judge Abdulla in December 2009, which met 44 times but failed to present an update report every thirty days as required by article 29(b) of the Judicial Service Commission Act and had not presented a single report as of March 2011.

Opposition Dhivehi Rayithunge Party (DRP) MP Dr Afrashim Ali spoke in defence of the judge and insisted the complaints could not be investigated, but declined to provide reasons in writing to the commission.

Despite Judge Abdulla having been sentenced for a criminal offence, Speaker Abdulla Shahid pushed for his reappointment and later “bequeathed the Criminal Court to Abdulla Mohamed until 2026” under the Judges Act, which was passed hastily during the constitutional crisis period in July-August 2010.

Former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s Progressive Party of the Maldives (PPM) has meanwhile called for the immediate release of the judge, accusing the government of disregard for judicial and constitutional law.

Interim Deputy President of PPM, Abdul Raheem, told local media that the government was seeking the declaration “of a state of emergency”.

“Recent actions suggest [the government] is capable of anything,” he said.


50 thoughts on “Chief Judge “took entire criminal justice system in his fist”: Afeef”

  1. This Judge Abdulla better be investigated. There are too many points against this man. Velezinee does not look like a saint(ess) but she speaks sooth sometimes!

  2. @JJ - What do you mean by "legal justification for the involvement of the armed forces in the arrest of Chief Judge"? The Prosecutor General, High Court, Supreme Court and the Human Rights Commission of the Country has said that the arrest is illegal. So how can you say that the the army barging into private property late at night and abducting a judge is legal.

  3. What a story. A hard core criminal as the top judge of the Criminal Court. No wonder why murderers are lurking free in the Maldives. This judge should not have been re-appointed at first place.

  4. They will say that because they all are doomed without this Abdulla.

    It does not feel right for someone who has asked a sexually raped victim to demonstrate the act in the court be let go of so easily. He will ruin the entire country. We are all witnessing the signs.

    JSC had several opportunities to correct him and from stopping him from repeating his degraded actions and unfair decisions as the chief judge. Its a shame that JSC failing to fullfill their obliged duties.

    Everyone blames the government when crime rate increases. But the true fact is, though police arrest-they are eventually being released by the courts with or without court hearings. And this has direct influence of the chief judge. What kind of a judge does that? Do you even know his education standard? A chief judge must be someone who has modern knowledge of the Judiciary. Not just some oldy like him who will take the Judiciary backwards rather than forward.

  5. i think its ridiculous Minivannews trying to justify the actions of the police and armed forces in this. Minivannews used to really stand for something. But I guess now it just propagates the interest of MDP. It doesn't matter what all stuff the judge was into, it does not justify what MNDF did. and is continuing to do. This is similar to talking about Evan Naseem being a drug addict and making other excuses upon hearing the news that he was murdered at the hands of the police. That was the approach the supporters of the ruling party took then. and is now the approach MDP supporters are taking with regards to the judge. So I guess nothing much has changed really....

  6. Shame on you Minivan News; you are not 'minivan' any more. Better call yourself autocratic views. When any one acts against the law, it's a crime. The government is no exception. Of course you know all this. And this type of articles just proves that you are propping up a cheap dictator. You are not interested in 'minivan news'. Shut down and go home (oh, I forgot, you are home; operating from the home of the dictator).

  7. TO aarey - The government has ignored a ruling of the Supreme Court. Last time I checked that's against the constitution. And if you don't know that, then I don't know who is disabled.

  8. Every court case, or ruling involves a defendant. When the Chief Justice and other judges indulge in prejudice by speaking their minds publicly, and then issue a ruling without involving the defendant, it is asking the public to believe in an incomplete farce.

  9. We should get to the bottom of this. I think we have to get rid of some of these officials who are working to the detrimental of our system and country.

  10. The ex-NSS is beginning to look clean, but please don't make this a habit. I'll look the other way this once.

  11. Lets hope this honorable judge goes missing , just like a lot of people did during the time of golha maumoon. Good riddance

  12. SAARC Secretary General's comment on current situation in Maldives. I think she will tell the truth to the world since she is in high rank post in the regional body SAARC.

    Citizens have to intervene if court orders are not followed: Dhiyana Saeed

    January 18, 2012 - 2 hours 44 minutes ago


    Former Attorney General and SAARC Secretary General Fathimath Dhiyana Saeed has said that if the government fails to comply with orders issued by the courts, citizens have to intervene to find a solution.

    Speaking at a Press Conference held by a lawyers group at VTV, the SAARC Secretary General appointed by President Nasheed said that the government cannot choose to follow certain Acts of the Constitution and ignore others, and that if the government fails to obey court orders, the people of the country have to find a solution to this problem.

    “These are not issues which can be picked and chosen. We will follow a certain Act, but a certain other Act is not for us – not even the government has the right to say this. The Constitution and regulations are not rules that should be followed only when we feel like it. They must be followed at all times,” Dhiyana said.

    Dhiyana, who acted as Attorney General in the beginning of this regime but was removed from the post due to opinion differences with the President, said that whether a person is acting in violation of the law or not is a decision made by court Judges, and that it is a very serious problem if orders issued by the courts are not being followed.

    She further said that the Parliament needs to commence efforts on behalf of Maldivian citizens, to solve this issue.

    Lawyer Aishath Aazima Shakoor said that the Supreme Court should take steps against the security forces’ failure to comply with the court’s order to release Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed.

    She further said that the arrest of Judge Abdulla has caused fear among Judges to carry out their responsibilities independently, and that efforts to sustain an autonomous judicial system will continue.

  13. Why is that there is no mention of Supreme courts order to release the judge and that the detention is illegal.

    Is it because your story may sound even more less sensible?

  14. Minivan is exposed for what it really is at last - A Xinhua-style mouthpiece for a government that has increasingly found itself unable to sustain let alone consolidate democracy in their country.

    Minivan's shameless writers claim to come from a democratic nation yet their democratic virtues do not extend beyond the boundaries of their home.

    Show us the decency you would show your countrymen, JJ, Eleanor and gang. Bow out and leave this publication.

  15. My problem is not the arrest of this judge but the involvement of the MNDF. The MNDF could provide support and back up but they should have got the Police to arrest him.
    The whole procedure is undermining democracy.

    Afeef is also telling the truth. This man has released drug traffickers, murders, you name it just to create problems or have been bribed.

  16. “O, let her brother live: Thieves for the robbery have authority When judges steal themselves.” William Shakespeare : Measure for Measure

  17. I support his arrest... but fear he will be let loose to keep destroying the country for many years to come...

  18. So, what's the end game here? Surely, the point of no return has passed as far as the fallen Judge!

    He's being held in a secure location for his own protection! Meanwhile, I hear that he is using this time of peace and quiet to reflect upon his past actions and also taking a refresher course on Maldivian and Islamic law.

    He's being studying the Constitution vigorously to ensure he understands the gravity of the responsibility that lay on his shoulders.

    I think it will be a while before we see the services of this Judge again. We can already see those who will miss him most. Those are the ones who are keeping awake day and night releasing Fatwa after Fatwa. They never expected this to happen, not in their wildest dreams. They are at a loss as to what to do now!

  19. The fallen judge, after seeing the hospitality of his military hosts, will after all repent his past mistakes and spill the beans on his pay masters!

    After all, our military boys are smart, well disciplined folk who sacrifice their lives day and night in the defence of our country. It is at times like these that we need them; not just when facing rockets and guns.

    The fallen judge could learn a thing or two about professionalism and service to the country from his current hosts. Abdulla like all humans is fundamentally good at heart, but fell in with the wrong group of people. A period of quiet reflection, will surely do him much good.

  20. The judge may have flaws, and he may be required to leave the bench. However the actions of the military is not justified. There is a process to be followed.
    This whole problem is due to the incapacity of the JSC. They investigated the Judge as they should. But the problem lies in the fact that he was never informed of or asked about the complaints made against him- which prompted him to file suit at the civil court stating that he has a right to be heard. I think every person who is going to have action taken against him does have a right to be heard...
    Should the State not be worried about the proficiency of the JSC? Why does this have to result in abduction of judges??? There is no way arbitrary arrest can be justified.

  21. Minivan News will justify everything this government does.
    After all, Minivan News is a paper run by the president's family at his house, I heard. Why wouldn't it justify the acts of this government!

  22. Abdulla Mohamed, this man who has been appointed Chief Judge of the Criminal Court, by the then majority DRP parliament is a shameless corrupter, with the worst kind of malice.

    This man should never have been appointed, the Judges act needs to be amended and blah blah the while judiciary is reeking of the same bull crap.

    Having said that the government should have followed due process in order not to give these people to create hysteria and unrest. Poorly executed.

  23. If there is no evidence, the judge will have to let the criminals go, everyone knows that the police have been inadequate in many cases to provide the evidence. Corruption exists at all levels in this country, including high level of mdp. A military kidnap can never be justified. This artical conveniently ignores the supreme court rulings, and the constitutional clauses. But that doesnt surprise anyone.

  24. Are u drisables? Blind?

    Did u byheart the constitution and the laws of Maldives to be so sure?

  25. I think Afeef should first talk about the criminal gangs MDP is using (specially Reeko Moosa) for disperse crowds. We can clearly see on TV that “Masodi gang” was behind the police lines and some were coming out of the police head quarters to attack the crowds. Most people know that corrupt people like Mariya, Reeko will do what ever it takes to hold on to power. It is no secret that Reeko financing the biggest gang in Male and these people are seen in haruge. Even Faseeh cannot arrest these people even if they caught them red handed.

  26. Supreme court decided not to rule on the issue regarding spas and alcohol sale in the Maldivies? How do you justify this?

    Last i checked, Supreme court is suppose to decide on that important matter. So dont spill constitutional art over internet when Supreme Court itself fails to uphold it.

  27. Minivan news is so far from independent that it's a joke. Only the newbies and foreigners don't realize this. So let me state for the record. THIS SITE IS A GOVERNMENT MOUTHPIECE THAT BRINGS ONLY THEIR VERSION OF THE STORY.

  28. What ever crime anyone,be it the president , chief justice, chair of Majlis or be it criminal court Justice Abdulla Gazee, cannot be arrested without due process prescribed in the laws of a nation. There cannot be any justification for the arrest of Abdullah Qazee, specific procedures are prescribed and that was NOT followed.
    Minivan, Tell us any country who's supreme court rulings are ignored by the government and call it a democratic country.

  29. When a corrupt Judge is taken into custody illegaly, all of a sudden his Constitutional rights become more important than the Constitutional rights of the Country as a whole? This is the same Judge who take bribes, and lets hard core criminals go free to commit more atrocities such as abuse, rape and murder to innocent citizens of the same Country. And yet that is OK? Why wasn't any of the opposition leaders or supporters crying "Unconstituional, Unconstitutional" then? Ok, the opposition is accusing the Government of intepreting the Constitution as they see fit, isn't the opposition doing exactly the same when they are risking the safety and security of this Country to protect the BIGGEST fraud and MOST corrupt judge in this Country? It seems all the politicians in this Country need a lesson on what the Constitution represents, and all the MPs in this Country need to resign because they have failed badly in holding the Government and the Judiciary accountable. And the Judicual system in this Country is not independent. It has never been and anyone with an ounce of common sense knows that. So high profile lawyers can forget about using the argument of protecting the "independence" of the Judicial system in this Country. In all likelihood even if the arrest of this joker and pathetic loser is illegal, it will ultimately benefit this Country more than any legal thing that the Government has done! The security of this Country is not threatened by the arrest of this joker, but by handing over the responsibility of the security of this Country to that corrupt loser. To think that he must have thought that he could play his games for the rest of his life! It's fine to let people like this free to destroy our community, but when an outsider comes and says anything "unislamic" then it becomes a huge issue! Wasn't that guy asking the victime of sexual abuse to enact the scene in court, unislamic? What about all the criminals he lets go because he has been paid a hefty sum to disregard the evidence? Why didn't those who are so keen to protect our faith of Islam rise up against that? Aren't we being selective in what aspect of the Islamic faith we choose to protect? Bottom line is that every political party in this country wants to be in power, no matter at what expense and we have a lot of ignorant people who follow these fools without thinking of the damage it will do to our own lives. And talking about legality and Constitutional rights, is it legal and within the Constitution for the Opposition to try to overthrow a Government that was democratically elected? These people don't even have the guts and patience to believe in the due process of an election! So there really is not even one political party in this Country who respects or even understands what the constitution means!

  30. Mr. JJ Robinson, today I am to call the name of your news website. it reads "minivan" but its not minivan atall. just look at how you are covering this issue its totally one sided. Maldivian journalists are not graduates but you are. you should know ho a professional journalist reports. you may be paid by MDP guys, but this does not mean you have to sacrifice the beauty of profession. If you cant balance then better dont write. look at the article 80 to 90 percent of it is from govt side. Arent u ashamed???????

  31. The other view:

  32. Go Mariyam. Well said. You have said it all. Makes me cringe that our country has been held hostage this long by this immoral gutless spineless crook calling himself a judge.The government must stand strong against injustice

  33. Except for a very few, most of our judges would never know what the heck "a measure for a measure" is; leave the rest of what is said!

  34. @Mariyam

    I think that you may be the one who needs "an ounce of common sense" here.
    You chose to ignore the fact that these allegations of corruption against the Judge have been thrown about by people propping up this incompetent government, with criminal records proven beyond a doubt within the bounds of the law. This speaks volumes about your objectivity.
    Why wont a criminal try to justify their actions? And once they are in power, isn't it in their interest to ensure that the rest of the people in power are their fellow criminals too?
    Open your eyes and look. Yesterday's murderers are in the government today.

  35. Judge Abdulla and Naeem are 2 partners in the Bribe Naeem is very lonely nowadays

  36. Did u see the PG??? Wow!!! looks like he has eaten a camel for dinner during the 30 year old DICTATE-CRACY of HE Gayyoom

  37. @Mariyam

    You claim that the "Constitution is a luxury we can ill afford" to solve the problems faced by the country.

    Well, this is an argument tried and tested by many despots and dictators in the past. From Maumoon to Mugabe. From Saddam to Gaddafi. From Mubarak to Bashar. An at every instance, history proves that the Dictators don't survive.

    I feel pity for Nasheed, who came to power as a champion of human rights and Rule of Law and who had advocated most for the New Constitution had so turned from our hero to a power hungry dictator.

    It was MDP who played the most important part in drafting this very Constitution but now are unable to govern according to it.

    The "Torch" has been passed from Gayyoom to Nasheed. And with that the "Iron Fist" has also been passed.

    Welcome to Dictatorship 2.0

  38. @mini van not minivan.

    Actually it was the holier than thou, buuter will not melt in your mouth, Hassan Saeed who first formally in writing complained about the judge.

    I want Dhiyan to come on TV again and and tell the public what they should do when the chief justice acts against the constitution and laws of the Country. Also I want SAARC Countries to decide what they do with a Secretary General that participates in political activities of a member country.

    No Maldivian other than Maumoon and clan would give a damn about abdulla Ghaazee being held where we can never see him.

  39. @ Aishath on Thu, 19th Jan 2012 3:55 PM

    " No Maldivian other than Maumoon and clan would give a damn about abdulla Ghaazee being held where we can never see him. "

    Seriously? Sadly it is not only "Maumoon's clans" who are now sick of what is going on.

    We struggled for years to get rid of Maumoon and voted for our hero Nasheed to govern this country in accordance with the Constitution and establish 'Rule of Law'. Nasheed has failed this miserably.

    You are advocating for this Judge (and I believe that most of the allegations against him will be true) should be made to 'disappear'?? What exactly are you saying?

    Whatever, this Judge may have done, he deserves to be arrested through legal channels and a fair trial held to prove his guilt.

    Merely screaming out and lashing out at every body like a mad person is not the way to govern a country.

    This is why the 'Dhiyanas' of the country and anyone with a conscience is standing up against this tyranny!

  40. after reading all the comments and the replies to my initial comment... its quite amusing how blind MDP and their fans have become.

  41. everyone is at fault here starting with the Majlis, the the JSC and the government.

    I know for a fact that the government wanted educated Judges and without any criminal record yet the JSC refused to pass it.
    Some there people are high school drop outs and we expect them to be judges in a democracy? Do we accept these kind of people?

    My fault with the Government is that they let this go for a long time and the use the military in this way.
    As for the Judge releasing people, the Police can only show the evidence. They cannot get the accused to say he is guilty under the current law.
    Of course under Gayoom's government they can get a confession.

    The quicker the Government sorts this mess out the better it would be.

  42. Dear Country mates.. If you feel Minivan news is not an independent source then the best thing to do would be to boycott it.. do not read it.. cause by reading and posting comments you are actually giving the writers what they want.. popularity.. So, may be you should switch to another source of news.

  43. after reading all the comments and the replies to my initial comment… its quite amusing how deaf, dumb and blind OPPOSITION and their fans have become.

  44. Minivannews has made a difference in the media of the Maldives. This article and various other articles proves their exemplary capabilities in bringing out true media reports.

  45. The fact that the government chose to do this only now when it is trying to squash political opposition against its anti-Islamic agenda, shows this is a political move. Trying give these reasons after all these years is silly.


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