The Judicial Services Commission (JSC) has completed its investigation into the alleged misconduct of Chief Criminal Court judge Abdulla Mohamed.
The JSC has not yet decided whether to take action, however Supreme Court judge Adam Mohamed, also a member of the JSC, told local media this week that the Chief Judge had violated the Judges’ Code of Conduct by making politically contentious statements to local television media.
A JSC official who requested he not be named told Minivan News that while the report into Abdulla Mohamed’s misconduct had been completed, “there are still proceedures to follow. The judge will have 30 days to reply to the report, and then a decision will be made [whether to forward the matter parliament]. We are not obliged to give any information to the media until the report is finalised.”
The case against Abdulla Mohamed was presented to the JSC in January 2010 by former President’s member of the JSC, Aishath Velezinee, after Abdulla Mohamed appeared on private network DhiTV and expressed “biased political views”.
In 2005, then Attorney General Dr Hassan Saeed forwarded to the President’s Office concerns about the conduct of Abdulla Mohamed after he requested that an underage victim of sexual abuse reenact her abuse for the court.
In 2009 following the election of the current government, those documents were sent to the JSC.
Velezinee said today that this was the first time the JSC had ever completed an investigation into a judge’s misconduct.
“There are many allegations against Abdulla Mohamed, but one is enough,” she said.
“If the JSC decides, all investigation reports, documents and oral statements will be submitted to parliament, which can then decide to remove him with a simple two-thirds majority.”
Press Secretary for the President, Mohamed Zuhair, welcomed the JSC’s investigation and said that it had the potential to be the “first time ever that a Maldivian institution has decided against a judge.”
Abdulla Mohamed had presided over the ongoing corruption trial of Deputy Speaker and People’s Alliance (PA) MP Ahmed Nazim, Zuhair noted, in which he banned media from entering the courtroom.
A decision on Abdulla Mohamed would signal that the JSC intended to “clean up the judiciary”, Zuhair said.
He acknowledged that the executive had little ability to involve itself with the judiciary under new separation of powers, “however there is a clause that requires the President to ensure the rule of law and respect for justice, and respect for the Constitution.”
“There has been growing public concern within the President’s party over the impartiality of the judicial system,” Zuhair said.