The Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) has said the commission will conclude its investigation into the arrest of Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed before the end of the month, and forward the findings to the Prosecutor General.
HRCM Member Ahmed Abdul Kareem told the press that the case took so long because some of the people involved “did not cooperate with the commission.”
Kareem told the press that all the statements would be finished by the end of next week, and that before the end of this month the case will be sent to the Prosecutor General (PG).
President of HRCM, Mariyam Azra, today told Minivan News that the commission was hoping to conclude the investigation before next month.
She said she could not confirm whether all the persons involved in the case were cooperating or not.
”Its a different team investigating the case and Ahmed Abdul Kareem is the only commission member in the investigating team,” she added.
Meanwhile, Police Sub-Inspector Ahmed Shiyam told Minivan News that police investigation in to the case was ongoing as well.
‘’We are still investigating the case and will send the case as soon as the investigation is concluded,’’ Shiyam said.
He also said former President Mohamed Nasheed “has not cooperated with the police.”
Local media Sun Online reported that police have decided to close the case and send the case to the Prosecutor General without including any statement from Nasheed because he had not cooperated with police.
Nasheed had been given the opportunity to give a statement to police at any time he wished, but he had not used the opportunity, Sun reported.
Criminal Court Chief Judge Abdulla Mohamed was arrested by the MNDF on the evening of Monday, January 16, in compliance with a police request.
The judge’s whereabouts were not revealed until January 18, and the MNDF has acknowledged receipt but not replied to Supreme Court orders to release the judge.
Prosecutor General (PG) Ahmed Muizz joined the High and Supreme Courts in condemning MNDF’s role in the arrest as unlawful, and requesting that the judge be released.
PG Muizz ordered an investigation by HRCM, and said it would evaluate the situation following the commission’s findings.
The first complaints filed against Chief Judge of the Criminal Court Abdulla Mohamed in July 2005 included allegations of misogyny, sexual deviancy, and throwing out an assault case despite the confession of the accused. The complaints were first made by then Attorney General, Dr Hassan Saeed, now President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan’s political advisor.
Six years of similar complaints later, the judicial crisis leading to President Nasheed’s downfall was triggered after Abdulla Mohamed filed a case in the Civil Court granting him an injunction halting his further investigation by the Judicial Services Commission.
This was following by a High Court ruling against his police summons on January 16, prompting police to request the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) take the judge into custody.
Then Home Minister Hassan Afeef subsequently accused the judge 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, barring media from corruption trials, ordering the release of suspects detained for serious crimes “without a single hearing”, and maintaining “suspicious ties” with family members of convicts sentenced for dangerous crimes.
The judge also released a murder suspect “in the name of holding ministers accountable”, who went on to kill another victim.
At the time Vice President of the Maldives, Dr Waheed opposed the judge’s detention, stating on his blog that “I am ashamed and totally devastated by the fact that this is happening in a government in which I am the elected Vice President.”
Nasheed’s government then requested assistance from the international community to reform the judiciary. Observing that judicial reform “really should come from the Judicial Services Commission (JSC)”, Foreign Minister Ahmed Naseem said at the time that the JSC’s shortcoming are “now an issue of national security.”
“We have been working to improve the judiciary since we came to power, but we have not succeeded,” said Naseem. “We have asked the international community to assist us in this effort several times, and we find that they are willing to help at this point,” he explained.
On February 7 Nasheed resigned “under duress”, after police joined opposition protesters in assaulting the main military base in Republic Square, vandalising the MDP headquarters, and taking over the state broadcaster.
A subsequent police crackdown on protesters on February 8, including women and the elderly, hospitalised many and triggered a surge of public and MDP-led animosity against the police and the new government.