Jumhoree Party (JP) MP Abdulla Jabir exercised his right to silence on Saturday after being summoned by police in connection with alleged alcohol consumption on the island of Hondaidhoo.
Jabir continued to claim that police had beaten him in Hondaidhoo in Haa Dhaal Atoll, further stating that he held Home Minister Dr Mohamed Jameel Ahmed and President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik directly responsible for the actions of the police.
Police Commissioner Abdulla Riyaz was also accused of incompetence by Jabir, who then vowed to sue the police chief for personal damages.
Jabir was arrested with nine other individuals on November 15 over the alleged possession and consumption of alcohol.
Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP and Spokesperson Hamid Abdul Ghafoor was also summoned by police in connection with the same case and exercised his right to silence.
Both Jabir and Ghafoor were released from Kulhudhuhfushi Magistrate Court following their arrests. However, the refusal to extend their detention period by Kulhudhuhfushi Court has recently been appealed at the High Court.
Jabir said that he would vote in favour of the no-confidence motions against President Waheed and Home Minister Jameel, further alleging that President Waheed had deceived JP.
Suspicion has surrounded the motives behind the island arrests, with Maldivian Democratic Party alleging they were a politically-motivated attempt to disrupt parliament ahead of a no confidence motion against the President.
A delegation from the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) also expressed their concern over the circumstances behind the MP’s detention, stating “We find it difficult to believe in light of the circumstances and timing of the arrests that the parliamentarians were not targeted for political reasons.”
Days prior to the downfall of the then ruling MDP government on February 7, Jabir switched to JP where he had won the Kaashidhoo constituency seat in parliament. At the time, he had praised President Waheed and defended the coalition government.
However, Jabir today said the legitimacy behind the change of government on February 7 had not been determined by a court of law and hence called for an early election.
Jabir further questioned the validity of the Commission on National Inquiry’s (CNI) report into the transfer of power on February 7.
In addition to Jabir and Hamid, former opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) President Ibrahim Hussain Zaki and former Press Secretary Mohamed Zuhair, his wife Mariyam Faiz, Zaki’s son Hamdhan Zaki, Seenu Hulhudhoo Reefside Jadhulla Jameel, two Sri Lankans and a Bangladeshi were among the ten people arrested from Hondaidhoo.
In relation to the motion filed to remove Jabir from the deputy leader’s post of JP, he said the move had been initiated by “children” who had been given posts in President Waheed’s government.