Civil Court Judge Maryiam Nihayath has ordered the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) to submit all documents relating to the ethical misconduct of Chief Criminal Court Judge Abdulla Mohamed, in a case filed by the judge last year to halt his further investigation by the judicial watchdog.
At the hearing held today, Judge Nihayath ordered the judicial watchdog to submit by next Thursday all documents and relevant video recordings , local media reported.
Speaking at the court, Judge Abdulla’s lawyer Ibrahim Riza, who is also the MP for Guraidhoo constituency, said that it was not legally appropriate to consider that his client was guilty of misconduct just because the JSC had decided it.
Riza told the court that the JSC’s decision on his client’s misconduct was taken following a statement Judge Abdulla made in an interview with private broadcaster channel ‘DhiTV’. The persons who interviewed Judge Abdulla had told the JSC that they did not know if he had made the comments implying political bias, Riza said.
Judge Maryiam Nihayath said that after the documents were submitted, a further hearing would be held before the verdict was delivered, local media reported.
Abdulla Mohamed filed the suit against the JSC after it completed a report into misconduct allegations against the Chief Judge last year.
According to the report, which the JSC has not yet publicly released, Abdulla Mohamed violated the Judge’s Code of Conduct by making a politically biased statement in an interview with DhiTV.
Following the JSC’s decision to take action against Abdulla Mohamed, he filed a case against the JSC in the Civil Court requesting that it invalidate the JSC’s report, claiming that DhiTV took his statement out of context.
According to the JSC, a total of 11 complaints have been submitted to the commission against Judge Abdulla Mohamed.
In 2005, then Attorney General Dr Hassan Saeed – now advisor to President Mohamed Waheed – forwarded to the President’s Office concerns about the conduct of Abdulla Mohamed.
Among the allegations in Dr Saeed’s letter was one that Judge Abdulla had requested an underage victim of sexual abuse reenact her abuse for the court, in the presence of the perpetrator.
Following Judge Abdulla’s obtaining of a Civil Court injunction late last year blocking his further investigation by the judicial watchdog, the President’s Office accused him of “taking the entire judiciary in his fist”, alleging that he was a threat to national security and ordering his detention by the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF).
Nasheed’s government 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, disregarding decisions by higher court, “deliberately” holding up cases involving opposition figures, barring media from corruption trials, maintaining “suspicious ties” with family members of convicts sentenced for dangerous crimes, ordering the release of suspects detained for serious crimes “without a single hearing”, actively undermining cases against drug trafficking suspects, “accepting bribes to release convicts”, “twisting and interpreting laws so they could not be enforced against certain politicians”, deciding that he alone could issue search warrants, arbitrarily suspending court officers, and releasing a murder suspect “in the name of holding ministers accountable”, who went on to kill another victim.
Opposition parties began a series of protests calling for the release of the judge, appealing to groups such as Amnesty International and the International Criminal Court, claiming the judge had been abducted and that Nasheed had violated international treaties.
The High Court and the Supreme Court ordered the release of Judge Abdulla, but the orders were dismissed by the MNDF.
On February 7 Nasheed was ousted from power after a group of police and military allied with opposition demonstrators, assaulting the main MNDF base and storming the state broadcaster while opposition politicians gathered in police headquarters. Nasheed subsequently resigned, later claiming that this was under duress, and the Criminal Court issued a warrant for his arrest.