Criminal Court rules Gassan arrest unlawful

Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed ruled tonight that police arrested Gassan Maumoon in violation of the constitution and a Supreme Court precedent establishing criminal justice procedures after his lawyers filed an application for a writ of ‘habeas corpus’, or release from unlawful detention.

After the case was filed this afternoon, the court issued an order to the police to bring Gassan to the court before 4:00pm today.

Gassan’s legal team, including former Attorney General Azima Shukoor and former President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s lawyer Mohamed Waheed Ibrahim ‘Wadde’, argued that Gassan’s arrest after being summoned to police headquarters at 10:00am was in violation of article 46 of the constitution.

Article 46 states, “No person shall be arrested or detained for an offence unless the arresting officer observes the offence being committed, or has reasonable and probable grounds or evidence to believe the person has committed an offence or is about to commit an offence, or under the authority of an arrest warrant issued by the court.”

Gassan’s legal team also claimed procedural violations in the arrest based on the precedent established by a Supreme Court ruling (page 11 point 11) in July 2010 overturning a High Court ruling extending the arrest of MPs Abdulla Yameen and Gasim Ibrahim.

Azima argued that the precedent established that the burden of proof falls on the state before arresting suspects.

Noting that police did not seek a court order for Gassan’s arrest, which was the “established norm,” Azima said the circumstances of his arrest did not fall under exceptions provided for in the constitution where police could arrest suspects without an arrest warrant.

Gassan’s lawyers noted that he was arrested four days after the incident took place.

In the absence of a Criminal Procedures Act, said Azima, the precedent should be followed in interpreting article 46 of the constitution.

Moreover, she added, Gassan was arrested through “deception” as “my client did not present himself to police to be arrested.”

Gassan was first summoned for questioning last Saturday concerning disturbances outside his residence Endherimaage on Thursday during a protest by the ruling Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP).

The protesters were calling for judicial reform, alleging that the judiciary and the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) were subject to political manipulation by the opposition and members of the former government.

During the protest a 17-year-old boy was struck on the head with a wooden plank allegedly thrown from Endherimaage while protesters led by MDP MPs, councillors and senior members were outside the former President’s residence.

Responding to Azima’s arguments at court today, Police Superintendent Mohamed Jinah insisted that the arrest was lawful as police had reasonable grounds to suspect Gassan had committed a crime and were prepared to submit early evidence.

If Gassan’s arrest was unlawful, said Jinah, “everyone police have arrested and brought before the court [for extension of detention] was arrested in violation of the constitution.”

Jinah suggested that Gassan’s legal team was “concerned that we might present evidence” and that the legal argument bore “no weight.”

The top police attorney submitted documents containing early evidence for the judge’s considering, including a medical report of the injuries sustained by the 17-year-old, photos, witness statements and “evidence we collected from the scene.”

The evidence was submitted despite the hearing being held on the case filed by Gassan’s lawyers contesting the legality of his arrest. Police were due to bring the former President’s son before court at 7:00pm to determine if his detention could be extended.

Jinah said police had reason to believe the investigation could be compromised if Gassan was released from custody.

Although the early evidence was not shared with the defence counsels, Azima argued that witness statements were invalid as they would have come from “people participating in an unlawful assembly.”

When Azima contended that the police claims conflicted with media reports on Thursday’s incidents, Jinah noted that “different media reported the same incident in very different ways.”

Gassan’s lawyers meanwhile submitted as counter-evidence photographs and video footage showing an MDP protester carrying a wooden plank. The footage was first aired on private broadcaster DhiTV challenging the MDP’s contention that the wooden plank was hurled from a second floor balcony of Maafanu Endherigas.

Azima argued that the nature of the evidence submitted was not enough “to establish a causal link between the suspect and the crime.”

When Gassan’s lawyer Maumoon Hameed criticised police for not examining “publicly available video footage,” Jinah said police had requested video footage from media outlets as well as footage caught on private security cameras.

Supporters of the former President’s newly-formed Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM) were camped outside the Justice building for the duration of the hearing carrying “Free Gassan” placards and celebrated with loud cheering when Gassan emerged from court.

Later in the day, activists of the ruling party gathered to protest outside the Supreme Court behind police lines. A heavy police presence kept the rival protesters at opposite ends of the court building.


23 thoughts on “Criminal Court rules Gassan arrest unlawful”

  1. This is known criminal. If he can escape justice we are going to destroy this country. We have to figure out a way to send these guys to exile or to send them to join Gaddafi in hell.

  2. This is a letter sent my the maldivian government to international bodies requesting assistance in this matter,

  3. The problem is not the justice system,it is the weakness on the police side.

  4. This video shows who was using the wooden pole.

  5. Article 46 states, “No person shall be arrested or detained for an offence unless the arresting officer observes the offence being committed, or has reasonable and probable grounds or evidence to believe the person has committed an offence or is about to commit an offence, or under the authority of an arrest warrant issued by the court.”

    So guys, get your blades, swords, drugs onda street, the fuc*#rs cant arrest anyone unless the police observes...

    In this case, the end is quiet obvious. the person who got hit with a plank was a 17 year old boy,,,more over, a normal citizen while the case is agains THE FKIN EX-PRESIDENT v all know who will win...just look at this scene..bloody 2 lawyers giving the bloody nunchakoo at police eh!. I donno vot else is fu*/ed up in dis country but the justice system sure is. Perfect place for illegal activities

  6. Maldivian justice system is a bloody joke.
    They once again have proven that they are unable to give justice and behave as if they are above the law.

  7. Judiciary belongs to Gassan's father and that they (the Judiciary) shall never let Gassan in detention............Oooooooh! boahalaaku!!!!

    I request the President to dissolve current Judiciary and let a new Judiciary be setup that contain Gayyoom-free Judges (meaning independent Judges)so that ICJ and the international community recognizes our Judiciary.

    I think we have had enough problems like we have lost so many lives because of this weak and improper Judiciary which was designed by Gassan's beloved fsther

  8. hey, maxed4901. That assembly is unlawfull, all the responsiblility have to take MDP activists.

  9. Why isn't the word unlawful in the heading within inverted commas?

  10. Dunya Maumoon, while you stood there in your pretty pink tight shirt, I hope you realised even for a second the trauma our families went through when your father the Former president ordered police to charge into people's houses and arrest people. Guess what your father also sent his force to people's houses at midnight and terrorised them and there's nothing we could do about it.

    As opposed to the above
    -Your brother was protected by the police even when he was taken into the police station and there after to Dhoonidhoo.
    -You and your family members were able to stand near the police HQ as long as you wanted. Do you know what happened when we tried to wait in that area. we were shooed away by your father's police force.
    -Your brother is with you now in one peace less than 5 hours after he was taken. For us, we didn't get any news of the loved once and we were forced to beg your father. And IF?WHEN they were released (5-10 years later) they are broken physically and psychologically.

    Every day I pray to God that He doesn't show us another curel leader like your father. I am sure many people will.

    You should be ashamed Dunya Maumoon

  11. Do what you can .... I am sure we can all pray for the Golhaboa's early death. The F***** justice system will not stop us doing that. Nor the police can do anything about it. So Pray ... or am i asking for an immoral act in the challanges of political battles. May be one of these Sheikhs can write to us a prayer (dhua) ... I promise you that the effect will be far better than counter planking endherimaage.

  12. Ilham (MDP) and Ghassan (maumoon's son) in police custody. Ilham on handcuffs, Ghassan free as a lark.

  13. It was not MDP activists who were outside Endherimaage but a notorious drug gang fully financed by Reeko Moosa and Mariya. The gang leader currently works at GMR and he is literally untouchable. I know this because my brother is in that gang and he lives like a king.


    Fisaari kerunu Ghassaanu beyfulhaa bappaalhaa eku furaigen Singapoorah higehje.

  15. real mdp pple should denounce this obvious incitation of violence ."NOT IN MY NAME"

  16. dangerous times, the beginnings of a dictatorships. the letter requesting international assistance towards installing an mdp controlled judiciary is equally disturbing as the release of criminal elements to control the mob. maldivians should seriously do some soul searching.......this is NOT what i voted for in 2008

  17. The problem is a dictatorial regime hell bent on taking control of the judiciary system.

  18. Gayyoom is like Gaddafi and Gassan like Saiful Islam and these people committed crimes just in line with a dictator. The only way we get peace is when the dictator get the same treatment as Gaddafi. We see lot of similarities like million dollar assets under fake names.

  19. @ Anni on Mon, 24th Oct 2011 11:51 PM

    WHO WROTE: " "This is a letter sent my the maldivian government to international bodies requesting assistance in this matter,"

    THAT'S JUST a normal letter intended to strengthen diplomatic ties with other countries.

    You're f#cking imposter (maybe GAY-yoom or GAY-son himself) trying another trick to fool the people. 🙂

  20. @PPM.

    Yeah this is the normal language the "thug" party speaks. Good that MDP is corresponding with reference to the 21 million dollar thief and former "dancer" and 4th grader Moosa Manik. kekekek.

    Should be better than that.

  21. HAHA.. This is a bloody joke. These guys now resort to violence when they got thrown down from a 30 year old dictator ship.
    And now.. they are using corrupt judges to have their way over things.

    I still blame Anni for not killing the old tiger.


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