Court asks police to present Nasheed at rescheduled trial

Former President Mohamed Nasheed today began touring the country’s Southern Atolls less than 24 hours after boycotting a trial against him in protest at what he and the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) allege is a lack of independence within the nation’s judiciary.

However the Department of Judicial Administration today confirmed that police were “to produce” Nasheed at a rescheduled hearing at 4:00pm on Sunday, October 7.

Department Director Ahmed Maajid told Minivan News that despite the order, the former president was “not to be detained”.

With the campaigning beginning today in Gaafu Alif Atoll, the MDP has claimed that uncertainty remains over whether Nasheed would be able to complete the tour without being taken into custody by authorities.

Despite the Department of Judicial Administration’s order, no official communication from authorities has so far been received by the MDP following Nasheed’s decision to boycott his trial, contravening a court order requiring him to remain in the capital.

The court hearing was to be the first in the case concerning Nasheed’s detention of Chief Judge of the Criminal Court, Abdulla Mohamed, while in office.

The government meanwhile has told the Agence France Presse (AFP) news service that the former president could be taken into custody should he fail to comply with a second summons for his trial over the detention of Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed.

“The court will issue him another summons,” President’s Office Media Secretary Masood Imad told the AFP.  “After the second summons, if he does not comply, the standard procedure is they (the court) will instruct the police to bring him in.”

Both Masood and President’s Office Spokesperson Abbas Adil Riza were not responding to calls from Minivan News at the time of press.

Home Minister Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed told Minivan News that the existing protocols relating to a defendant failing to attend their trial were a matter of judicial process that were applied to any defendant, regardless of their position.

“Nasheed or anyone else is subjected to the same set of rules governing trials when they face criminal charges,” he claimed. “The state would not commit any act which would amount to contempt of court whenever it is asked to assist in bringing a suspect to court who wilfully avoids an appearance or absconds a trial.”

Prosecutor General Ahmed Muizz was also not responding to calls from Minivan News at the time of press.

MDP Spokesperson and MP Hamid Abdul Ghafoor, who is travelling with Nasheed as part of the party’s 14 day tour, said that no official correspondence had been received from authorities at present concerning Nasheed’s decision not to attend yesterday’s trial.

“[The authorities] have done everything they can to try and stop this tour, though we have just arrived and the party is in good spirits,” he said.

When questioned if the MDP was confident Nasheed would be able to complete the tour following his decision to defy court rulings against him, Ghafoor said it remained too early to tell at present.

“Obviously we hope he will be able to complete the tour, but they might come and get him at some point. We will have to wait and see,” he said. “We have just arrived at our first destination on Kolamaafushi, the island is very yellow (the official colour of the MDP), it is quite a thing to see.”

Another source travelling with Nasheed as part of the tour, who asked not to be identified, told Minivan News that there had been no communications so far between the former president’s representatives, the government or the courts.

The source claimed that from their own understanding, Nasheed was being treated under standard protocols employed against any Maldivian national failing to attend a criminal trial, with a second summons expected to be issued by the courts at a later date.  A failure to comply with this second order would likely see police ordered to bring the former president to court, they added.

Boycott decision

Nasheed’s departure to participate in his party’s ‘Vaudhuge Dhathuru’ (Journey of Pledges) campaign in the country’s southern atolls reflected a wider MDP decision to no longer follow any orders given by the courts of the Maldives until changes proposed by international entities were brought to the Maldivian judicial system.

Nasheed’s controversial decision to detain Judge Abdulla in January 2012 followed the judge’s repeated release of former Justice Minister – and current Home Minister – Dr Mohamed Jameel, in December 2011, whom the government had accused of inciting religious hatred over the publication of his party’s pamphlet, ‘President Nasheed’s devious plot to destroy the Islamic faith of Maldivians’.

The former government government further accused the judge of political bias, obstructing police, stalling cases, having links with organised crime and “taking the entire criminal justice system in his fist” so as to protect key figures of the former dictatorship from human rights and corruption cases, among other allegations.

Nasheed justified the judge’s arrest based on his constitutional mandate to protect the constitution. Judge Abdulla had in September 2011 received an injunction from the Civil Court preventing his investigation by the Judicial Services Commission (JSC), the watchdog tasked with overseeing the judiciary, which complied with the ruling.

Former President’s Member on the JSC, Aishath Velezinee, has written a book extensively documenting the watchdog body’s undermining of judicial independence, and complicity in sabotaging the separation of powers.

Over 80 pages, backed up with documents, evidence and letters, The Failed Silent Coup: in Defeat They Reached for the Gun recounts the experience of the outspoken whistleblower as she attempted to stop the commission from re-appointing unqualified and ethically-suspect judges loyal to former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, after it dismissed the professional and ethical standards demanded by Article 285 of the constitution as “symbolic”.


13 thoughts on “Court asks police to present Nasheed at rescheduled trial”

  1. I as a Maldivian sincerely hope that Nasheed is made to stand trial for what will always be remembered in this country as a flagrant attempt to rip apart our social fabric and our hard-won democracy.

    Nasheed will also go down in the history backs as a failed leader who could not practice what he preached.

  2. tsk you are right and the majority of Maldivian do not want idiots like Nasheed to be our leader ever.

    Look at the elections that we had since 7th Feb. and 80% is won by others and only 20% is won by MDP.

    This clearly show that Maldivian do not want Anni and that is why this guy is so desperate .

    This guy had pull us 50 years back in terms our economy and our countries debt had triple just in three years. But Anni and his associates accounts had go 500 times higher.

    Anni is corrupt and arrogant man and he need to be put behind the bars if ever want to see any peace in this country.

    Anni is the biggest threat for our democracy too

  3. No good deed goes unpunished. Here is a man being punished for forgiving and moving on rather than dwelling in the past. I can't imagine forgiving a man responsible for my being tortured, yet that is exactly what President Nasheed did.

    Are Maldivians that dumb that their demand for justice begins and ends with Nasheed? The well documented torture, murder, arbitrary detentions during Maumoons' era mere peccadilloes that he can be forgiven?

  4. You are a Maldivian who wishes to see Nasheed put on trial for trying to safeguard the rights of children, tsk tsk?

    Shame on you.

  5. The judicary stinks, hand picked by Gayoom and corrupt. We are worse then Somalia right now, well done Anni, point taken!

  6. @tsk tsk

    I as a Maldivian sincerely hope that Maumoon Abdul Gayoom is made to stand trial for what will always be remembered in this country as a flagrant attempt to rip apart our social fabric and our hard-won democracy.

    Gayoom will also go down in the history backs as a failed leader who could not practice what he preached.

  7. does this mean that Judiciary should be only picked by Anni ? or Judiciary should bow thier heads to Anni ?

    We have seen how anni appointed his councilors in this country and how credible those elected people were ? There many people who had been appointed even does not have basic education but they were appointed just because they were very influential in the Island due to their criminal records.

    I guess if Anni had the opportunity to appoint the entire judges in this country, we would have judges from criminal back ground and judges from second chance.

    Anni is the one who appointed the panel of the judges to supreme court , the highest of the judiciary , and Anni is the one who appointed the people to judiciary commission . This is the watch dog for the entire judiciary.

    I do not understand how people like Velezinee even fit into that commission.

  8. The trial was set only to stop him going on this visit to the islands. This is political vendetta

  9. Nasheed is guilty of introducing social security, mass housing, transport network free medical care, among others. These were denied to people during gayoom regime under the pretext of "unaffordable" luxuries. What Anni did was really cruel. In spite of soaring government expenditure, he did it. That was humiliating exposure of trickery of that regime using the same resources Gayoom had yet maliciously denied to the people. So Anni deserves to be punished for humiliating that "infallible" dictator. Stop being mindless into believing baseless religious name calling.

  10. Health insurance was something that was passed by the parliament and the bill was not submitted by Anni.

    Transport system is in big disaster and check how many of those transport companies are running properly. This so called transport system was introduced to give away few Islands to his party member like Dhonblieh Ahmed.

    Many of the companies who had got the islands are deep shit because there was lot of hidden agendas for them and they are not able to sustain the required transport by just funding by themselves and they were meant to get the required income from the resort revenue. Since they could not find any investors, there are no way of getting the enough income to support the transport network.

    Housing , yes agree to some extent, Anni had done. But this is mostly done for the Male' people not for the people living other Islands.

    I support Anni for his courage to introduce the GST and that is something he has done good. But i do not support him for failing to take actions against his relatives who are not paying Tax.

  11. Abdulla Mohamed has no right to be called a judge, or be sitting anywhere as a judge.
    His dirty face says it all.
    He is a shame to the entire system.

    President Nasheed and those who want to bring him in to stand trial know that these court cases in fact are baseless; but tactics to try scare, to ridicule and to hoodwink.

    This is sickening!

  12. Gayooms PPM can only win an election either by jailing key opposition politicians or seize power by a coup. This has been the case since he came to power, all the opposition has been threatened with banishment and jailing.

    Who is this Abdulla Gazee? How is his master?


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