Former MNDF Male’ Area Commander Brigadier General Didi contests charges of illegally arresting judge

Former Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) Male’ Area Commander, retired Brigadier General Ibrahim Didi, has denied the charge of arresting Chief Judge of Criminal Court Abdulla Mohamed, levied against him by the state.

Ibrahim Didi is charged for the controversial military detention of Chief Judge of Criminal Court Abdulla Mohamed in January 2012. Along with Didi, former President Mohamed Nasheed, his Defense Minister Tholhath Ibrahim Kaleyfaanu, former Chief of Defense Force retired Major General Moosa Ali Jaleel and Colonel Mohamed Ziyad are all facing the same charges.

During the hearing held at Hulhumale’ Magistrate Court on Sunday (February 24), Didi told the judge that he had not arrested the judge, and contended that he should not be facing charges as an individual for an act that was carried out by the then Defence Ministry.

He further claimed that the arrest was made by the Defence Minister under the direct orders of the president, and that he had no role to play in it.

The former Brigadier General claimed that the charges levied against him by the state were unfair and raised question over the credibility of the witnesses presented by the state against him.

He also stated that he was protecting the legitimate government in power up until February 7, and that the state presenting those officers who did not like him as witnesses could jeopardise the fairness of the trial.

Presenting her case in the court, State Attorney Aishath Fazna argued that following orders at the time from the Commander in Chief, President Mohamed Nasheed, the operation carried out by the MNDF in which Didi had been the commander, “arbitrarily arrested and detained an innocent man”.

As such, retired Brigadier General Ibrahim Didi was charged for the offence of arbitrarily detaining an innocent individual as stipulated in article 81 of the Penal Code, Fazna argued.

Article 81 of the Maldives Penal Code states: “It shall be an offense for any public servant by reason of the authority of office he is in to detain to arrest or detain in a manner contrary to Law innocent persons. Persons guilty of this offense shall be subjected to exile or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 3 years or a fine not exceeding MVR 2,000.00.”

Following the reading of the charges, Didi’s lawyer Ismail Wisham – who had in previous case contended the legitimacy of the magistrate court – raised two procedural points.

In the first point, Wisham questioned whether article 81 of the penal code could be used to press the charges citing that it had not been put to use.

In the second point, he raised question as to whether the state had proven to the court the innocence of Judge Abdulla Mohamed, to which article 81 of the penal code referred to.

In response, the state attorney contended that a similar charge was pressed by the state against a person and that the state had successfully prosecuted the accused at the time. She further said that the details of this case would be presented during the next hearing.

The state attorney in response to the second procedural point argued that the constitution clearly denotes that every person is innocent until proven guilty; therefore it should be no different for Judge Abdulla Mohamed.

The sitting judges dismissed the procedural points taken by the defendants stating that the points did not object to the continuance of the trial, but said the court would consider it while issuing the verdict.

The state attorney also presented a list of witnesses and evidences to support its case. The witnesses included current Chief of Defense Force Major General Ibrahim Shiyam and several other senior members of the military.

Evidence presented includes video footage of the arrest and several other documents.

Concluding, the judge stated that the next hearing would be held on March 20 in which the courts would be hearing the witnesses presented to the court.

Didi’s trial was also heard by all three judges of Hulhumale’ Magistrate Court appointed to look into the case. The panel consists of Judge Shujaau Usmaan, Judge Hussain Mazeed and Judge Abdul Nasir Abdul Raheem.

Earlier, former Defense Minister Tholhath Ibrahim Kaleyfaanu also denied the charge of arbitrary detention of Chief Judge of Criminal Court Abdullah Mohamed, during the first hearing of his criminal trial held in the controversial Hulhumale Magistrate Court.

Detention of the judge

Judge Abdulla Mohamed was taken into military custody after the former Home Minister Hassan Afeef wrote to Defense Minister Tholhath asking him arrest the judge as he posed a threat to both the national security of the country and a threat to the country’s criminal justice system.

Minister Afeef at the time of the judge’s arrest accused him of “taking the entire criminal justice system in his fist”, listing 14 cases of obstruction of police duty, including withholding warrants for up to four days, ordering police to conduct unlawful investigations and disregarding decisions by higher courts.

Afeef accused the judge of “deliberately” holding up cases involving opposition figures, and barring media from corruption trials, ordering the release of suspects detained for serious crimes “without a single hearing”, maintaining “suspicious ties” with family members of convicts sentenced for dangerous crimes, and releasing a murder suspect “in the name of holding ministers accountable”, who went on to kill another victim.

Afeef also alleged that the judge actively undermined cases against drug trafficking suspects and had allowed them opportunity to “fabricate false evidence after hearings had concluded”.

Judge Abdulla “hijacked the whole court” by deciding that he alone could issue search warrants, Afeef alleged, and had arbitrarily suspended court officers. He also accused the judge of “twisting and interpreting laws so they could not be enforced against certain politicians” and “accepting bribes to release convicts.”

The Judicial Services Commission (JSC) itself had investigated Abdulla Mohamed but stopped short of releasing a report into his ethical misconduct, after the Civil Court awarded the judge an injunction against his further investigation by the judicial watchdog.

JSC whistleblower Aishath Velezinee has also contended that the JSC’s blanket reappointment of all interim judges and magistrates in 2010 violated article 285 of the constitution guaranteeing an ethical and qualified judiciary, and that as such, the case “is based on a false premise, the assumption that Abdulla Mohamed is a constitutionally appointed judge, which is a political creation and ignores all evidence refuting this.”


An investigation led by Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM) found the former President as the “highest authority liable” for the military-led detention of the Judge. The HRCM also identified Tholhath Ibrahim as a “second key figure” involved in the matter. Others included Brigadier General Ibrahim Didi and Chief of Defense Force Moosa Ali Jaleel.

In July 2012, Prosecutor General Ahmed Muizz pressed charges against the parties who had been identified in the HRCM investigation as responsible for the arrest.

Following the charges, former President Nasheed’s legal team challenged the legitimacy of the Hulhumale’ Magistrate Court in High Court, but the Supreme Court intervened and dismissed the claims by declaring the magistrate court was legitimate and could operate as a court of law.

Contentious court

The Hulhumale’ Magistrate Court, which is also trying former President Nasheed for his detention of the Chief Criminal Court Judge during his final days in office, was created by the Judicial Services Commission (JSC).

The JSC, which includes several of Nasheed’s direct political opponents including rival presidential candidate Gasim Ibrahim, also appointed the three-member panel of judges overhearing the trial.

Parliament’s Independent Institutions Oversight Committee has previously declared that the JSC’s creation of the Hulhumale’ Magistrate Court was unconstitutional.

However, the Supreme Court declared parliament overruled, issuing a statement that “no institution should meddle with the business of the courts”, and claiming that as it held authority over “constitutional and legal affairs” it would “not allow such interference to take place.”

“The judiciary established under the constitution is an independent and impartial institution and that all public institutions shall protect and uphold this independence and impartiality and therefore no institution shall interfere or influence the functioning of the courts,” the Supreme Court stated.

A subsequent request by the JSC that the Supreme Court bench rule on the court’s legitimacy resulted in a four to three vote in favour. The casting vote was made by Supreme Court Judge Adam Mohamed, also president of the JSC.


8 thoughts on “Former MNDF Male’ Area Commander Brigadier General Didi contests charges of illegally arresting judge”

  1. 7th Fecruary 2012 just after 6.00 pm the call for Magrib prayers and as I entered the Hukuru miskih i noticed 2 other gentleman entering the mihraabuge and did their sunnah. The imam offers one of the gentleman to lead the prayers. He was Dr. Imran. The other gentleman Brigadier General Didi stood right behind Imran. I stood on the right side of Didi. Soon as the Imam finished his prayers i stood & walked out cos just for no specific reason i just felt so uncomfortable.

  2. @Rationale

    Just becoz someone prayered behind a person you dislike politically or whatever reason doesn't have to make you "uncomfortable" unless you went to worship the secularist god of "money" and power. And you go to mosque to "show off" and be seen as a pious man? I have known Brigadier General Didi, he is a man of principles and values, unlike many MNDF or ex MNDF like Amin Faisal who is well know for his unconstitutional and immoral activities known and well particpated by many PPM, DRP and MDP members. More than half the Majlis members consume alcohol and have open sex or same sex. Are you now "comfortable"??? Atleast you and the individuals mentioned go to mosque and believe in Allah, while there are people like Dr.Shaheed and many more with in inner MDP and other parties who reject God!! Try to get "comfortable" with this info now and try to sleep! more thing..much of the hardcore crimes like murder and drug is well coordinated and funded by the very core of these political parties. So next time you share their hands, see if you got blood in your hands!

  3. Rational
    I doubt on the date? Because me as a member of MNDF and against the the unlawful changeover I hv seen Gen.Didi on the 7th and he was sleepless for more than 36 hours he has gone asleep at about 4pm that 7th evening.

  4. @ rationale (whats in a name)
    " ... who reject god ..." - so what. I reject Satan, Jinnies, black magic and cursed cocks too. It's something you believe or you don't believe. In particular the hypocrite sheikhs and mullahs do everything to make people reject such belief.
    Blood stained hands, there you right. Imagine, shaking hands with Maumoon, Umar, Riass ... who have tortured and murdered so many bros who went to the same mosques before.

  5. @Macha

    You cant tell others what to feel

    You dont even know Rationale to make the judgments you made about him

    What does it matter to you about others' religious beliefs? Faith is a every personal relation between the beholder and god. Whether to believe in god is upto you. Others' rejection of god has nothing to do with you

    Perhaps, it'd be good to take these points into consideration next time you decide to rant at someone

  6. @wtf
    I have a feeling you are hurt and you are Dr.Shaheed? Oh My GOD, you do care about your life?

  7. Rationale on Thu, 9th Aug 2012 12:02 PM

    "Can this Ibrahim Didi tell similar story about the February 7th Coup and his personal role with Dr. Imran. I did my Magrib prayers on 7th evening at Hukuru miskiy. Dr. Imran was the Imam and Mr. Didi was right behind him. Remember!!!"

    This was was comment in 2012, I replied to you about the date, that you may have been mistaken, with proof. You go on and write basically the same thing here. His whereabouts on that date and time are documented, as General Officers in/out are recorded. As I mentioned on 9th Aug 2012, what is the point you are trying to prove? In case you are not aware Imran was the one calling for his head 7 days before the coup!


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