The Maldivian High Court has ruled that the criminal court order for People’s Alliance party leader and MP Yameen Abdul Gayyoom and Jumhoory Party leader and MP Gasim ‘Buruma’ Ibrahim to be brought before the court within one hour, was not unlawful.
The ruling was given in response to an appeal by the police against the criminal court order.
”Maldives Police Services understand that the criminal court order was contrary to the law,” said the prosecution lawyer Dheebanaz Fahmy yesterday.
The legislation states that police can keep a person in custody without a court appearance for 24 hours. The two MPs were arrested around 6.30 p.m. and around 9.30 p.m. Yameen’s lawyer Azima Shukoor requested the criminal court to determine on what grounds Yamin was arrested.
The order was issued around 12.15 a.m. that same night, less than six hours after the arrest. The police claimed the court order was unlawful and against judicial procedure.
Last night the criminal court ruled both MPs were to be placed under house arrest for three days while the investigation continues, and that they would be free to attend parliamentary sittings and committee meetings. The police also appealed to the High Court against this ruling.
DRP deputy leader and MP Ali Waheed meanwhile condemned the actions of the police for arresting the two MPs. “The government is trying to gain a majority in the Majlis by force,” said Ali Waheed. ”That’s why they are threatening the opposition MPs.”
Waheed claimed that the police were influenced by the government. ”I have been repeatedly trying to contact Commissioner of Police Ahmed Faseeh to hold a meeting to discuss this issue,” Waheed said. ”He has not responded.”
Waheed also said that the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) was active in Male’ although there was no civil unrest.
“The government is trying to declare a state of emergency,” he said. ”Then the executive will gain a lot of powers.”
He claimed that the former minister of defence Ameen Faisal (who resigned two days ago along with the entire cabinet) was attending MNDF headquarters. Waheed said this was a threat to national security.
”After he resigned, he had no authority to enter MNDF headquarters,” Waheed said. ”He is a person who also had some connection with November 3rd attack.”
The judicial system of the Maldives is not impartial, says the secretary-general of Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Ibrahim Shareef.
He said that the MDP might include that issue in their ongoing protests against opposition party actions in the Majlis which the MDP claims are an attempt to undermine the constitutional powers of the executive branch of government.