Chief of Defense Forces testifies in Nasheed, Tholhath terrorism trials

Former President Mohamed Nasheed and former Defense Minister Tholhath Ibrahim Kaleyfaanu must bear responsibility for the military detention of Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed, the Chief of Defense Forces Major General Ahmed Shiyam has said.

Testifying in two separate hearings into terrorism charges against Nasheed and Tholhath on Thursday, Shiyam said the Maldives National Defense Forces could not carry out such an operation without the pair’s orders.

“As soldiers, we are obliged to follow their orders,” he told the court at Nasheed’s 9pm hearing.

Both Nasheed and Tholhath have denied ordering Judge Abdulla’s arrest. If convicted of terrorism, they face a jail term or banishment between 10 and 15 years.

Judge Abdulla’s arrest sparked 22 consecutive nights of violent anti-government demonstrations that culminated in a police and military mutiny on the morning of February 7, 2012, forcing Nasheed to resign in what he subsequently called a “coup d’etat.”

According to Shiyam, Nasheed and Tholhath had met with senior MNDF officers after the judge’s arrest, where now retired Brigadier General Ahmed Mohamed spoke out against the long term damage the MNDF might suffer due to the military’s role in the judge’s arrest.

Nasheed then assured officers the military would not have to bear responsibility for the judge’s detention, Shiyam said.

State prosecutors then asked if Nasheed had said he would bear responsibility for the arrest. Shiyam said yes.

Speaking to the press afterwards, Nasheed’s lawyers noted Shiyam had not said the former president had issued the order to arrest Judge Abdulla.

Meanwhile, at a separate 2pm hearing into charges against Tholhath, Shiyam said the former Defense Minister had at the same meeting declared he would bear responsibility for the arrest even if he were to be jailed for forty years.

The words still resound in his ears, Shiyam said.

Tholhath had also told an MNDF advisory council he believed Judge Abdulla must be arrested, a day before the operation—dubbed liberty shield—was carried out, Shiyam said.

Tholhath’s lawyer asked Shiyam if former President Nasheed had given the arrest order, but Shiyam said he did not remember Tholhath saying so.

At yesterday’s hearing, Lieutenant Ali Ihusan, who served as Tholhath’s personal assistant, told the court that he heard the former minister saying he would not release Judge Abdulla even if he faced 30 years in jail as a consequence.

At the second hearing of his trial, Tholhath claimed the operation to arrest Judge Abdulla was initiated by Nasheed and carried out by then-Malé Area Commander Brigadier General Ibrahim Mohamed Didi, currently opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP for mid-Hithadhoo constituency.

Commander of MNDF’s Medical Services Dr Ali Shahid also testified at Nasheed and Tholhath’s hearings. Shahid had been assigned as Judge Abdulla’s doctor during his 21 days of detention on the military training island Girifushi.

Shahid said he had met with the Judge several times a day, and observed he was under military watch.

Tholhath, Didi and now retired Colonel Mohamed Ziyad called Shahid regularly to monitor Judge Abdulla’s well-being, he said.

At the 2pm hearing, Shahid also said Tholhath had assigned psychologist Aishath Zeena to Judge Abdulla after receiving reports he was not eating at all.

In a statement following tonight’s hearing, the office of former President Mohamed Nasheed said summoning the Chief of Defense Forces to the Criminal Court undermined his dignity and honor.

Nasheed had appealed to the presiding Judges Abdulla Didi, Abdul Bari Yoosuf and Sujau Usman to refrain from asking the Chief of Defense Forces to testify if at all possible.

The judges ignored the plea.

When given the opportunity to cross examine Shiyam, Nasheed declined, saying he had no questions for the Chief of Defense Forces.

Nasheed had previously contested the credibility of police and military officers as state witnesses, contended the role of the police and military officers in his February 2012 ouster and Judge Abdulla’s arrest raised questions over their trustworthiness.

The state has also named Tholhath as a witness against Nasheed.

Nasheed’s next hearing is scheduled for Saturday.

Ziyad and Didi are also standing trial over Judge Abdulla’s arrest.

Related to this story

Nasheed contests credibility of police and military witnesses in terrorism trial

Tholhath vowed not to release Judge Abdulla even if he were to be jailed for 30 years, says witness

Judges Didi and Yoosuf refuse to step down from Nasheed’s terrorism trial

Nasheed denies ordering Judge Abdulla arrest, granted three days to answer charges

Former President Nasheed arrives in court with arm in makeshift sling

Nasheed denied right to appoint lawyer and appeal “arbitrary” arrest warrant, contend lawyers


9 thoughts on “Chief of Defense Forces testifies in Nasheed, Tholhath terrorism trials”

  1. Kihaa dhera massala eh tha.Abaduvess meehaku, bandu nukureving ulay gaumeh. Thi goith dookohlaa, Islahuvaan vejje noon. Meege 500 aharu kurin vess hama othee migothah kamah belay.Islaam deenakee meehunah aniyaa kuraa deeneh noon.

  2. The then elected president was doing his duty of protecting the public from 'criminals' who were in the pockets of drug lords, murderers, and corrupt officials, when all measures failed. What about the president who had confessed having possession of a pistol in his pocket when he took oath of office in 1978 (was is not void abintio case), and what about the president who also confessed shooting at inmates. What about the General who was conducting coup on live TV,and what about the tourism minister who confessed dealing in 77 million case. Please don't mock the intellect of Maldivian people!!!

  3. Clad in uniforms or in high priced attair, decorated with all that is seen, it is terrible to see some people, especially soldiers, standing still; Stark naked!

  4. In all honesty President Nasheed was very silly to have gotten involved with Ablo Gaazee. It is not at all clear what the thinking was.

    What were they going to do with the Gaazee? How long did they intend to keep him incarcerated?

    It is just beyond belief that Nasheed got himself involved in this. Clearly it was wrong, never mind what the Gaazee may or may not have been up to.

  5. Punish Nasheed for the crimes that he had committed.

    Nasheed is not our God and Nasheed is a Maldivian citizen and he can not stand above the law.

  6. Punish Hero and their ilk for supporting abuse and murder of Maldivians.

  7. This trial is not about Nasheed. Everyone will agree that he is a good person.

    The trial about what Nasheed has done - a calculated political mistake of arresting a judge.

    The calculation did not turn out well. If Nasheed had succeeded, the gamble would have paid off.

    Life is not fair when you gamble. Maradona may have scored a hand goal without a red card. But, not all gambles pay off.

    Nasheed is not a criminal. But he made a grave political mistake. So he would have to live with it. And MDP should have enough capacity to function without Nasheed. Otherwise its not a good party.

    The tragedy here is excessive reliance on one man..

  8. What Yameen does not understand is that he will have to face the consequence. If he will not meet the consequences, then, he will be forced to face the consequence.

    Nasheed is a charasmatic person. He is named next Mandela by his supporters (most Maldivians). His supporters are the majority EVEN now.

    There are hordes and hordes of people who would genuinely give there lives for the sake of Nasheed. Yameen has no charisma. Just tell me any one person who is willing to sacrifice his life for the sake of Yameen. Non.

    Nasheed taxed the rich. Before Nasheed, the rich did not pay ANY tax. Nasheed taxed the rich and gave 100 percent health insurance for the whole population. Nasheed gave 500 USDollars for anyone who is above 65 years of age.

    So, Yameen, one day or another (VERY SOON) the people who love Anni will force you face the consequence.


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