The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) has condemned the Maldives Police Service for arresting former President Mohamed Nasheed today, terming it an ‘unlawful’ act.
MDP MP Ahmed Sameer stated that the police, who had demonstrated against being issued unconstitutional orders on the February 6, were now doing the same.
Sameer referred to Articles 155 and 245 of the Constitution of the Maldives and Article 53 of the Judicature Act, stating that the police were implementing an order which went against all three articles.
“There are slayings and murders happening continuously, but the focus is instead on politically motivated action against former President Nasheed,” Sameer said.
Sameer also echoed Nasheed’s legal team’s previous statement that there was a case to determine the legitimacy of the Hulhumale’ Court currently pending in the Supreme Court.
“We are saddened that the Supreme Court is continuing to stay silent on the matter, and is making no efforts to inhibit an unlawful order by an unconstitutional court,” Sameer said.
“Why doesn’t the Supreme Court take the initiative and transfer the case against Nasheed from the unlawful Hulhumale’ court to a legally established court? He would willingly attend then,” Sameer further stated.
The police have an ongoing investigation against Sameer which was submitted by the Department of Judicial Administration on September 12 accusing him of “creating public mistrust” towards the Supreme Court.
Former Chairman of the Constitutional Drafting Committee of the Special Majlis, Ibrahim ‘Ibra’ Ismail, has also published an article on his personal blog stating the reasons why the Hulhumale’ Magistrate Court cannot be considered a legal entity.
Ismail writes “[Hulhumale’ court] was created by the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) without authority derived from Law. Therefore the validity of any order or judgements issued by this court is questionable, and the Constitution says no one has to obey any unlawful orders, i.e, orders which are not derived from law. Therefore, President Nasheed’s decision to ignore the summons has more than reasonable legal grounds.”
Ismail further writes that no court has the power, under any law, to issue a travel ban on a person without ever summoning them to court.
He also stated that there was ample to room to believe that the courts were acting with a bias against Nasheed, owing to a number of other politicians and business tycoons who were repeatedly defying court orders and summons.
At Monday’s press conference MP Sameer and MDP Chairperson ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik called on the Minister of Home Affairs and seniors representatives of the Maldives Police Service (MPS) to not encourage the case to be carried out in an unlawful court by having the police obey its orders to arrest Nasheed and present him to the hearing.
The MPS has sent out a press release confirming that they have taken Nasheed into custody and that officers were now heading back to the capital with him.
MDP International Spokesperson Hamid Abdul Ghafoor has also expressed concerns, stating he did not believe Nasheed would be allowed a fair trial.
“This is not about justice. This is a politically motivated trial to invalidate our candidate’s candidacy and to deliberately disrupt the MDP’s presidential campaign. We are in the largest voting centres and it is very clear who will win the elections. They can only win the elections by invalidating his candidacy. We are deeply disturbed by the developing situation. We do not believe he will have a fair trial.”
Meanwhile, President’s Office Spokesperson Abbas Adil Riza has stated on his twitter: “After Tuesday morning either you are with us or with the enemy. There is no negotiation or middle ground after Tuesday.”
Riza made the statement on Sunday evening, while the Hulhumale’ Magistrate issued the arrest warrant to the police on Monday afternoon.
Parliament rejects motion against Nasheed’s arrest
Parliament has rejected an emergency motion put forward by MDP MP and Chairperson ‘Reeko’ Moosa Manik against the arrest of Nasheed.
Speaker and DRP Member Abdulla Shahid stated that the motion was rejected on the basis that it concerned a case ongoing in the Supreme Court to validate the legitimacy of the Hulhumale’ Magistrate Court.
He referred to Article 149 of the Parliament Rules of Procedure which states that motions regarding cases ongoing in a court of law could not be accepted by the legislative.
Although Shahid stated that the Supreme Court was currently looking into the legitimacy of the Hulhumale’ Magistrate Court, Moosa Manik stated that the motion was not about the Supreme court case, but about a case lodged at an unconstitutional court.
MDP MP Eva Abdulla echoed Moosa’s statement, saying that since the Hulhumale’ Magistrate Court was established unlawfully, the arrest warrant for Nasheed issued by the court must be considered invalid.
The motion also spoke of the public outrage that Nasheed’s arrest and unfair treatment against him would cause.
Three magistrates presiding over Nasheed case summoned to Majlis Committee
The Majlis committee with the mandate to oversee work of the executive has summoned the three magistrates appointed to preside over the case against Nasheed regarding the arrest of Criminal Court Chief Justice Abdulla Mohamed.
The three magistrates, whose names have not yet been announced, have been asked to attend the meeting at 3:45pm on Tuesday. Nasheed’s hearing, meanwhile, has been scheduled for 4:00pm Tuesday.
The decision to summon the magistrates was reached in a closed-door meeting of the committee held Monday afternoon.
The committee has an MDP majority with six of their MPs sitting in it, in addition to two members from the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), two members from Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) and one member from the Jumhoree Party (JP).