Former Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim’s brother last night called on Maldives Police Services to disobey unlawful orders issued by Commissioner of Police Hussein Waheed.
Speaking at the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party’s (MDP) nightly demonstrations, Adam Azim suggested Waheed was responsible for ordering brutality and unlawful actions against the public, and said individual police officers would ultimately pay the price.
“I am advising the Maldives Police Services, your leaders will make you do wrong. Areca palms will be cut. They will make you raid people’s homes. They will make you arrest people unlawfully. They will force you to be brutal towards your own people. Then Hussain Waheed and his associates will run off and hide,” he said at a first appearance at an opposition protest.
Nazim is currently under house arrest, standing trial for smuggling illegal weapons. The former defence minister claims the pistol and three bullets police discovered at his home during the January 18 raid were planted by Specialist Operations (SO) officers on the orders of Tourism Minister Ahmed Adeeb.
The retired colonel was subsequently dismissed, and arrested on February 10 on additional charges of terrorism and treason. Azim, who was the Managing Director of State Trading Organization (STO), was also dismissed from his position on March 9.
Nazim said Adeeb had engineered the setup after he spoke out against police SWAT officers chopping down all of Malé City’s areca palms in October. The tourism minister has since dismissed the allegations.
State prosecutors in court last week said documents on a pen drive confiscated along with the weapons suggested Nazim was plotting to harm President Abdulla Yameen, Waheed and Adeeb with the financial backing of opposition Jumhooree Party (JP) Leader Gasim Ibrahim’s Villa Group and STO.
The MDP and former ruling coalition partner JP formed an alliance “in defence of the Constitution” at the same time as the police raid on Nazim’s home. Since the former defence minister’s arrest on February 10, the opposition has held nightly demonstrations.
MDP leader and former President Mohamed Nasheed was arrested on February 22, swiftly brought to trial on terrorism charges and sentenced to jail on March 13. Azim first appeared at an opposition rally on Thursday night, where he praised Nasheed, and called on the government to release all “political prisoners.”
Speaking last night to a crowd of hundreds outside the Maldives National Defence Force’s (MNDF) Kalhuthukkala Koshi (KK), Azim urged security forces to be cautious in following their superior’s orders, stating: “We know a lot of things that Hussein Waheed is responsible for.”
Azim last night also warned Waheed he would be penalised for his role in allegedly framing Nazim.
“You do not have much protection either. There will come a day when you lose your position. We will make sure of it,” he said.
“When you have status, honour and power what you are supposed to do is serve for the people with honour, pride and respect. Not brutalising your people!” he added.
Following Nazim’s arrest and trial, several key regime supporters – including MP Ahmed Mahloof and Adhaalath Party President Sheikh Imran Abdulla – have joined the opposition under the banner “Maldivians against brutality.” Defectors have accused Adeeb of corruption, links with organised crime and gangs, and intimidation of political rivals.
Mahloof at an opposition rally on Thursday night said Adeeb bought a US$80,000 BMW and$100,000 ring for the first lady on her birthday, which he said demonstrated President Yameen encouraged embezzlement of state funds.
Adeeb, at a press conference yesterday, hit back saying Mahloof was being paid to make false allegations. The MP had also failed to pay back loans borrowed from close business associates, the tourism minister alleged.
Nazim’s family, meanwhile, requested the former defence minister be flown abroad for urgent medical care. At a hearing on Thursday, lawyer Maumoon Hameed said Nazim had a life threatening medical condition.
He was recently transferred from police custody at the Dhoonidhoo Island detention centre to house arrest for health reasons.
The former defence minister played a key role in MDP leader and former President Mohamed Nasheed’s resignation half-way through his term on February 7, 2012.
Photo by @adamadeem on Twitter