Inquiry not a criminal investigation: commission head Shafeeu

There will be no criminal investigation into the events leading to the resignation of of former President Mohamed Nasheed on February 7, and the subsequent transfer of presidential power to then-Vice President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik, the Committee of National Inquiry (CNI) said on Thursday.

The commission is charged with looking into the legality and legitimacy of the transfer of presidential power following allegations from former ruling Maldivian Democratic (MDP) that Waheed came to power in an opposition-backed coup in which elements of police and Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) were bribed to revolt against Nasheed and force him to step down at “gun point”.

Both security forces and then-opposition parties – which now largely represents key cabinet posts and ministerial positions at Dr Waheed’s administration – have steadily denied the allegations.

The commission members now including former minister of defence and national security during President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom’s administration, Ismail Shafeeu, members Dr Ibrahim Yasir and Dr Ali Fawaz Shareef on Thursday held its first press conference and briefed the journalists on the commission’s responsibilities, assuring that the members will conduct a “strictly impartial and independent inquiry”.

However, according to commission head Shafeeu, the commission will not conduct any criminal investigation against anyone while assessing the events leading to Nasheed’s resignation – suggesting that the report which will be submitted to President, Vice President and Prosecutor General before May 31, is unlikely to hold any party or person accountable to the transfer of power.

The commission’s “terms of reference” released to the press read that the “mandate of the commission specifically indicates that the inquiry will not be a criminal investigation. Any criminal investigation pertaining to the subject of the inquiry will remain the responsibility of the relevant authorities”.

Meanwhile it states the commission’s mandate as “exploring the facts, circumstances and causes of the events on 7 February 2012, resulting in the transfer of powers”.

Shafeeu further explained that “the inquiry is not intended to allege anyone of any crime” and said the final report will include opinions from three commission members which will be solely based on the personal assessment of the events and information gathered from the state institutions and concerned individuals.

According to commission member Yasir, many believe that commission is investigating criminal charges because former presidents had formed commissions tasked with criminal investigations.

“As soon as the commission was formed by Presidential decree, people began to ask about what sort of investigations we will conduct. But, we have not been asked to conduct any investigation. What we are doing is conducting an inquiry to identify the circumstances leading to transfer of power on February 7,” Yasir observed.

He added that the commission welcomes information from the public and the work is underway to set up a website where people can send information and follow the commission’s works. He also said that all political parties have been requested to co-operate and meetings are ongoing with independent institutions.

The commission has already met with the Police Integrity Commission, Attorney General (AG), Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM), Civil Service Commission (CSC) Prosecutor General (PG) and several NGOs.

Member Favaz meanwhile noted that commission has decided to seek technical assistance from United Nations (UN) and foreign ministry will facilitate the process. When asked whether Commonwealth will join the investigation Fayaaz responded: “We decided to channel UN’s assistance because the body compromise of all the nations while Commonwealth represents a specific group of countries. But we do welcome assistance from all international bodies and countries”.

The Commonwealth and Transparency Maldives has previously concurred with the need for international involvement, stating that it “strongly felt that there should be international participation in any investigative mechanism, as may be mutually agreed by political parties in Maldives.

Though government had shown willingness, the inclusion of international experts in the inquiry process is still pending.

MDP’s spokesperson Hamid Abdul Ghafoor meanwhile dismissed the inquiry commissions remarks claiming that it has “absolutely no substance”.

“The terms of reference of the inquiry commission has nothing to do with what the CMAG has asked or what we are asking for. This [commission] is tailor-made to the wishes of an politician who is trying to consolidate the rule of Gayoom’s factions. And now they are saying there will be no criminal investigation,” Ghafoor alleged.

“How can there be an impartial investigation when the members are appointed by those who were involved in the coup and denying international involvement in the inquiry process?” Ghafoor asked.


18 thoughts on “Inquiry not a criminal investigation: commission head Shafeeu”

  1. mdp don't want an investigation, what they want is an election. they're glad it isn't an investigation. lets hope hamid ag shows up sober on monday so that there can be an amendment made for having elections this year!

  2. This will be a Whitewash. Hope the international community know the reasons why this will be. Its time for an international team to take over the investigation to give some credibility.

  3. Believe me, nothing good will come out of this inquiry!! The result of this will be in favour of Dictator Maumoon.... Just like the case of murdered Hussain Solah of Addu City...

  4. There is no need for an investigation of these happenings.
    We are not living in the stone age!
    Shafeeu is really shameless to be Maumoon's "fihigandu bumaru" once again!
    The best use for the report of this investigation would be to stuff it somewhere really dark!

  5. I feel that most people who slate this commission has no clue about how these things are conducted.

    For any inquiry to be involved in criminal investigations a Judge has to sit on it. All these inquires can do is to find facts. If they do it openly and transparently it would be obvious to anyone what the final result would be.
    Then this report is sent to the PG to see if any charges are to be laid against any party.
    This is where the criminal part of it comes into play.

    I guess Maldives is too new to democracy for most people to understand how it works.

    As for Hamid, he is been an acting like that since he joined the FAM. He is the man who destroyed FAM along with Summer Blue Ibrahim and it is getting the biscuit that he is now shouting about having no credibility and CMAG and all that.

    The man is an absolute disgrace and should be thrown out of the Parliament too. He should be sober before he opens his mouth.

  6. Another inquiry or investigation. Remember inquiry or whatever name you it, after Evan Naseems death. Once the committee submitted the report to Maumoons government (where Ismail Shafeeu was the Defence Minister) huge parts of it was cut off. Certain person in the committee were then given a cannot post. My Question is are these people qualified to carry out an inquiry.

    I think these people ask for UNs help for two reasons. Many members of this coup government worked in different UN offices and probably feel they have friends in UN who will help their cause. Also to date, on the issue of coup, the UN has been on the coup governments side. By mandate the UN offices have to work with the existing government.

    In an inquiry, will the officers who were bribed admit to taking money just for the love of Ismail Shafeeu.

  7. Shafeeu was Maumoon's Defense Minister. Brown Sugar Golhaa Ghassaan is Bandit Waheed's State Sports Minister. Anhen Golhaa Dhunya is Bandit Waheed's State Foreign Minister.
    Rogue Waheed is still saying Maumoon is not the roots behind the coup. Whom are you fooling? Go tell this story to your old grandmother. She will believe you. Not the Maldivians.

  8. Better not be an ivestigation bcos if it does, Nasheed's plan to over throw the judicial system and implement emmergency law would be known. There was no coup de'tat. Nasheed is a sick man and he suffering from Antisocial personality disorder

    Antisocial personality disorder is a mental health condition in which a person has a long-term pattern of manipulating, exploiting, or violating the rights of others. This behavior is often criminal.

    A person with antisocial personality disorder may:

    Be able to act witty and charming

    Be good at flattery and manipulating other people’s emotions

    Break the law repeatedly

    Disregard the safety of self and others

    Have problems with substance abuse

    Lie, steal, and fight often

    Not show guilt or remorse

    Often be angry or arrogant

  9. A complete waste of time and money! I suggest the funds be re-allocated to sustain "Aasandha"! Firstly the Commission is not made up of independent people! Secondly whatever the Commission is mandated to do has been broadcast live on TV! Thirdly the people interviewed by the Commission are irrelevant!

  10. Waheed heads a military leadership brought about by a mutinying police and defense force. Waheed appoints a committee headed by Maumoons regime Defence Minister, Ismail Shafeeu, to carry out an inquiry on the Coup. The current Defence Minister Naazim was one of Shafeeus favorites when he was defense Minister. And Maldivians are asked to believe what comes out of this inquiry. Give us another story.

  11. Do as you please, inquiry or investigation, we already know the outcome would be a soft sugar coated version of a propaganda machine of this government. But soon a vote will be cast and those who did what they did will be investigated and brought to justice. No matter how many resorts Gasim owns, he shall face the wrath of the Maldivian people who are against this whole charade

  12. How much do you charge for your therapy sessions? I'm suffering from post-coup d'état stress syndrome.

  13. It's not the method by which the facts are gathered of an act that makes the difference between crimes and civil wrongs.

    The inquiry is expected to look into the circumstances that led to the resignation of the elected president Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives and reveal the facts that will or help to determine that the resignation was unconstitutional.

    Breach of the constitution is a serious offence. Since the military was involved in the ouster of the legitimate government of Nasheed, it was a coup punishable by death in many countries. Under the Maldives constitution, a coup is the crime of the highest degree against the state.

  14. Anees, it is the job of the inquiry to find out if the military was involved or not and the circumstances surrounding the resignation of Nasheed.

    In a democracy everyone is presumed innocent unless proven guilty and you cannot have it both ways.
    So let us wait and see what this inquiry produces and if they are open and transparent and if their report is cross examined and if it holds to facts.
    It is pointless to dismiss it even before they have done half the work.

  15. There is no question over impartiality of the members constituting the inquiry, utmost respect is due to them for taking up such a huge task of national interest, clearly it is a job of immense demands and as Dr Williams put it the members of the CNI need to have the’’ constitution of an ox and the skin of a rhinoceros’’. Their findings may not change what has happened but it is an important piece of work for the sake of national history. One would hope that the dossier they come up with would not be ‘sexed up’ by the authorities and that it will be accepted by all across the political spectrum. One can only hope.

  16. The three members appointed by Waheed are not competent to carry such an investigation. Their impatiality is doubtful. They have no legal background. They will not be able to evaluate evidence - just cant. Shafeeu only knows to teach economics. Other is medical doctor and the other has got a Phd in education. They cannot do the job. President Waheed must have appointed a Supreme Court Justice to head the Commission. Chief Justice will be a good choice. There should be a foreign Judge or an eminent Jurist in the Commission with some local lawyers. We have competent persons to carry an impartial investigation. Waheed is so "foni" he doesnt understand the reality.


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